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The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein


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Title: An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Peace And The Terms Of Its Perpetuation

Author: Thorstein Veblen

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The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.


New York

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1917.

Published April, 1917:

Reprinted August, 1917.

New edition published by

January, 1919.

[Pg vii]

It is now some 122 years since Kant wrote the essay, Zum ewigen Frieden. Many things have happened since
then, although the Peace to which he looked forward with a doubtful hope has not been among them. But
many things have happened which the great critical philosopher, and no less critical spectator of human
events, would have seen with interest. To Kant the quest of an enduring peace presented itself as an intrinsic
human duty, rather than as a promising enterprise. Yet through all his analysis of its premises and of the terms
on which it may be realised there runs a tenacious persuasion that, in the end, the régime of peace at large will
be installed. Not as a deliberate achievement of human wisdom, so much as a work of Nature the Designer of
things—Natura daedala rerum.

To any attentive reader of Kant's memorable essay it will be apparent that the title of the following
inquiry—On the nature of peace and the terms of its perpetuation—is a descriptive translation of the caption
under which he wrote. That such should be the case will not, it is hoped, be accounted either an unseemly
presumption or an undue inclination to work under a borrowed light. The aim and compass of any
disinterested inquiry in these premises is still the same as it was in Kant's time; such, indeed, as he in great
part made it,—viz., a systematic knowledge of things as they are. Nor is the light of Kant's leading to be
dispensed with as touches[Pg viii] the ways and means of systematic knowledge, wherever the human realities
are in question.

Meantime, many things have also changed since the date of Kant's essay. Among other changes are those that
affect the direction of inquiry and the terms of systematic formulation. Natura daedala rerum is no longer
allowed to go on her own recognizances, without divulging the ways and means of her workmanship. And it is
such a line of extension that is here attempted, into a field of inquiry which in Kant's time still lay over the
horizon of the future.

The quest of perpetual peace at large is no less a paramount and intrinsic human duty today than it was, nor is
it at all certain that its final accomplishment is nearer. But the question of its pursuit and of the conditions to
be met in seeking this goal lies in a different shape today; and it is this question that concerns the inquiry
which is here undertaken,—What are the terms on which peace at large may hopefully be installed and

BY 2
The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

maintained? What, if anything, is there in the present situation that visibly makes for a realisation of these
necessary terms within the calculable future? And what are the consequences presumably due to follow in the
nearer future from the installation of such a peace at large? And the answer to these questions is here sought
not in terms of what ought dutifully to be done toward the desired consummation, but rather in terms of those
known factors of human behaviour that can be shown by analysis of experience to control the conduct of
nations in conjunctures of this kind.

February 1917 [Pg ix]


Introductory: On the State and Its Relation To War

and Peace

The inquiry is not concerned with the intrinsic merits

of peace or war, 2.

—But with the nature, causes and consequences of the

preconceptions favoring peace or war, 3.

—A breach of the peace is an act of the government,

or State, 3.

—Patriotism is indispensable to furtherance of warlike

enterprise, 4.

—All the peoples of Christendom are sufficiently patriotic, 6.

—Peace established by the State, an armistice—the State

is an instrumentality for making peace, not for perpetuating it, 7.

—The governmental establishments and their powers in all

the Christian nations are derived from the feudal establishments
of the Middle Ages, 9.

—Still retain the right of coercively controlling the actions

of their citizens, 11.

—Contrast of Icelandic Commonwealth, 12.

—The statecraft of the past half century has been

one of competitive preparedness, 14.

—Prussianised Germany has forced the pace in this

competitive preparedness, 20.

—An avowedly predatory enterprise no longer meets

with approval, 21.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

—When a warlike enterprise has been entered upon, it

will have the support of popular sentiment even if it
is an aggressive war, 22.

—The moral indignation of both parties to the quarrel

is to be taken for granted, 23.

—The spiritual forces of any Christian nation may be

mobilised for war by either of two pleas: (1) The
preservation or furtherance of the community's material
interests, real or fancied, and (2) vindication of the
National Honour; as perhaps also perpetuation of the
national "Culture," 23.


On The Nature and Uses Of Patriotism

The nature of Patriotism, 31.

—Is a spirit of Emulation, 33.

[Pg x]—Must seem moral, if only to a biased populace, 33.

—The common man is sufficiently patriotic but is hampered

with a sense of right and honest dealing, 38.

—Patriotism is at cross purposes with modern life, 38.

—Is an hereditary trait? 41.

—Variety of racial stocks in Europe, 43.

—Patriotism a ubiquitous trait, 43.

—Patriotism disserviceable, yet men hold to it, 46.

—Cultural evolution of Europeans, 48.

—Growth of a sense of group solidarity, 49.

—Material interests of group falling into abeyance

as class divisions have grown up, until prestige
remains virtually the sole community interest, 51.

—Based upon warlike prowess, physical magnitude and

pecuniary traffic of country, 54.

—Interests of the master class are at cross purposes

with the fortunes of the common man, 57.

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—Value of superiors is a "prestige value," 57.

—The material benefits which this ruling class contribute

are: defense against aggression, and promotion of the
community's material gain, 60.

—The common defense is a remedy for evils due to the

patriotic spirit, 61.

—The common defense the usual blind behind which events

are put in train for eventual hostilities, 62.

—All the nations of warring Europe convinced that they

are fighting a defensive war, 62.

—Which usually takes the form of a defense of the National

Honour, 63.

—Material welfare is of interest to the Dynastic statesman

only as it conduces to political success, 64.

—The policy of national economic self-sufficiency, 67.

—The chief material use of patriotism is its use to a

limited number of persons in their quest of private gain, 67.

—And has the effect of dividing the nations on lines of

rivalry, 76.


On The Conditions of a Lasting Peace

The patriotic spirit of modern peoples is the abiding

source of contention among nations, 77.

—Hence any calculus of the Chances of Peace will be

a reckoning of forces which may be counted on to keep
a patriotic nation in an unstable equilibrium of peace, 78.

—The question of peace and war at large is a question of

peace and war among the Powers, which are of two contrasted
kinds: those which may safely be counted on spontaneously
to take the offensive and those which will fight on provocation, 79.

—War not a question of equity but of opportunity, 81.

—The Imperial designs of Germany and Japan as the prospective

cause of war, 82.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

—Peace can be maintained in two ways: submission to

their dominion, or elimination of these two Powers;
No middle course open, 84.

[Pg xi]—Frame of mind of states; men and popular sentiment in

a Dynastic State, 84.

—Information, persuasion and reflection will not subdue

national animosities and jealousies; Peoples of Europe
are racially homogeneous along lines of climatic latitude, 88.

—But loyalty is a matter of habituation, 89.

—Derivation and current state of German nationalism, 94.

—Contrasted with the animus of the citizens of a commonwealth, 103

—A neutral peace-compact may be practicable in the absence of Germany and Japan,
but it has no chance in their presence, 106.

—The national life of Germany: the Intellectuals, 108.

—Summary of chapter, 116.


Peace Without Honour

Submission to the Imperial Power one of the conditions

precedent to a peaceful settlement, 118.

—Character of the projected tutelage, 118.

—Life under the Pax Germanica contrasted with

the Ottoman and Russian rule, 124.

—China and biological and cultural success, 130.

—Difficulty of non-resistant subjection is of a psychological

order, 131.

—Patriotism of the bellicose kind is of the nature of

habit, 134.

—And men may divest themselves of it, 140.

—A decay of the bellicose national spirit must be of

the negative order, the disuse of the discipline out
of which it has arisen, 142.

—Submission to Imperial authorities necessitates

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

abeyance of national pride among the other peoples, 144.

—Pecuniary merits of the projected Imperial dominion, 145.

—Pecuniary class distinctions in the commonwealths and

the pecuniary burden on the common man, 150.

—Material conditions of life for the common man under

the modern rule of big business, 156.

—The competitive régime, "what the traffic will bear,"

and the life and labor of the common man, 158.

—Industrial sabotage by businessmen, 165.

—Contrasted with the Imperial usufruct and its material

advantages to the common man, 174.


Peace and Neutrality

Personal liberty, not creature comforts, the ulterior

springs of action of the common man of the democratic
nations, 178.

—No change of spiritual state to be looked for in the

life-time of the oncoming generation, 185.

[Pg xii]—The Dynastic spirit among the peoples of the Empire

will, under the discipline of modern economic conditions,
fall into decay, 187.

—Contrast of class divisions in Germany and England, 192.

—National establishments are dependent for their

continuance upon preparation for hostilities, 196.

—The time required for the people of the Dynastic

States to unlearn their preconceptions will be longer
than the interval required for a new onset, 197.

—There can be no neutral course between peace by

unconditional surrender and submission or peace by
the elimination of Imperial Germany and Japan, 202.

—Peace by submission not practicable for the modern

nations, 203.

—Neutralisation of citizenship, 205.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

—Spontaneous move in that direction not to be looked for, 213.

—Its chances of success, 219.

—The course of events in America, 221.


Elimination of the Unfit

A league of neutrals, its outline, 233.

—Need of security from aggression of Imperial Germany, 234.

—Inclusion of the Imperial States in the league, 237.

—Necessity of elimination of Imperial military clique, 239.

—Necessity of intermeddling in internal affairs of Germany even

if not acceptable to the German people, 240.

—Probability of pacific nations taking measures to insure peace, 244-298.

—The British gentleman and his control of the English government, 244.

—The shifting of control out of the hands of the gentleman into

those of the underbred common man, 251.

—The war situation and its probable effect on popular habits

of thought in England, 252.

—The course of such events and their bearing on the chances

of a workable pacific league, 255.

—Conditions precedent to a successful pacific league

of neutrals, 258.

—Colonial possessions, 259.

—Neutralisation of trade relations, 263.

—Futility of economic boycott, 266.

—The terms of settlement, 269.

—The effect of the war and the chances of the British people
being able to meet the exigencies of peace, 273.

—Summary of the terms of settlement, 280.

—Constitutional monarchies and the British gentlemanly

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

government, 281.

—The American national establishment, a government

by businessmen, and its economic policy, 292.

[Pg xiii] —America and the league, 294.


Peace and the Price System

The different conceptions of peace, 299.

—Psychological effects of the war, 303.

—The handicraft system and the machine industry,

and their psychological effect on political preconceptions, 306.

—The machine technology and the decay of patriotic loyalty, 310.

—Summary, 313.

—Ownership and the right of contract, 315.

—Standardised under handicraft system, 319.

—Ownership and the machine industry. 320.

—Business control and sabotage, 322.

—Governments of pacific nations controlled by privileged classes, 326.

—Effect of peace on the economic situation, 328.

—Economic aspects of a régime of peace, especially as related

to the development of classes, 330.

—The analogy of the Victorian Peace, 344.

—The case of the American Farmer, 348.

—The leisure class, 350.

—The rising standard of living, 354.

—Culture, 355.

—The eventual cleavage of classes, those who own and those

who do not, 360.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.

—Conditioned by peace at large, 366.

—Necessary conditions of a lasting peace, 367.


[Pg 1]




Introductory: On the State and its Relation to War and Peace

To many thoughtful men ripe in worldly wisdom it is known of a verity that war belongs indefeasibly in the
Order of Nature. Contention, with manslaughter, is indispensable in human intercourse, at the same time that
it conduces to the increase and diffusion of the manly virtues. So likewise, the unspoiled youth of the race, in
the period of adolescence and aspiring manhood, also commonly share this gift of insight and back it with a
generous commendation of all the martial qualities; and women of nubile age and no undue maturity gladly
meet them half way.

On the other hand, the mothers of the people are commonly unable to see the use of it all. It seems a waste of
dear-bought human life, with a large sum of nothing to show for it. So also many men of an elderly turn,
prematurely or otherwise, are ready to lend their countenance to the like disparaging appraisal; it may be that
the spirit of prowess in them runs at too low a tension, or they may have outlived the more vivid appreciation
of the spiritual values involved. There are many, also, with[Pg 2] a turn for exhortation, who find employment
for their best faculties in attesting the well-known atrocities and futility of war.

Indeed, not infrequently such advocates of peace will devote their otherwise idle powers to this work of
exhortation without stipend or subsidy. And they uniformly make good their contention that the currently
accepted conception of the nature of war—General Sherman's formula—is substantially correct.
All the while it is to be admitted that all this axiomatic exhortation has no visible effect on the course of
events or on the popular temper touching warlike enterprise. Indeed, no equal volume of speech can be more
incontrovertible or less convincing than the utterances of the peace advocates, whether subsidised or not.
"War is Bloodier than Peace." This would doubtless be conceded without argument, but also without
prejudice. Hitherto the pacifists' quest of a basis for enduring peace, it must be admitted, has brought home
nothing tangible—with the qualification, of course, that the subsidised pacifists have come in for the
subsidy. So that, after searching the recesses of their imagination, able-bodied pacifists whose loquacity has
never been at fault hitherto have been brought to ask: "What Shall We Say?"

Under these circumstances it will not be out of place to inquire into the nature of this peace about which
swings this wide orbit of opinion and argument. At the most, such an inquiry can be no more gratuitous and
no more nugatory than the controversies that provoke it. The intrinsic merits of peace at large, as against those
of warlike enterprise, it should be said, do not here come in question. That question lies in the domain of
precon[Pg 3]ceived opinion, so that for the purposes of this inquiry it will have no significance except as a
matter to be inquired into; the main point of the inquiry being the nature, causes and consequences of such a

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
preconception favoring peace, and the circumstances that make for a contrary preconception in favor of war.

By and large, any breach of the peace in modern times is an official act and can be taken only on initiative of
the governmental establishment, the State. The national authorities may, of course, be driven to take such a
step by pressure of warlike popular sentiment. Such, e.g., is presumed to have been the case in the United
States' attack on Spain during the McKinley administration; but the more that comes to light of the intimate
history of that episode, the more evident does it become that the popular war sentiment to which the
administration yielded had been somewhat sedulously "mobilised" with a view to such yielding and such a
breach. So also in the case of the Boer war, the move was made under sanction of a popular war spirit, which,
again, did not come to a head without shrewd surveillance and direction. And so again in the current European
war, in the case, e.g., of Germany, where the initiative was taken, the State plainly had the full support of
popular sentiment, and may even be said to have precipitated the war in response to this urgent popular
aspiration; and here again it is a matter of notoriety that the popular sentiment had long been sedulously
nursed and "mobilised" to that effect, so that the populace was assiduously kept in spiritual readiness for such
an event. The like is less evident as regards the United Kingdom, and perhaps also as regards the other
Allies.[Pg 4]

And such appears to have been the common run of the facts as regards all the greater wars of the last one
hundred years,—what may be called the "public" wars of this modern era, as contrasted with the
"private" or administrative wars which have been carried on in a corner by one and another of the Great
Powers against hapless barbarians, from time to time, in the course of administrative routine.

It is also evident from the run of the facts as exemplified in these modern wars that while any breach of the
peace takes place only on the initiative and at the discretion of the government, or State,[1] it is always
requisite in furtherance of such warlike enterprise to cherish and eventually to mobilise popular sentiment in
support of any warlike move. Due fomentation of a warlike animus is indispensable to the procuring and
maintenance of a suitable equipment with which eventually to break the peace, as well as to ensure a diligent
prosecution of such enterprise when once it has been undertaken. Such a spirit of militant patriotism as may
serviceably be mobilised in support of warlike enterprise has accordingly been a condition precedent to any
people's entry into the modern Concert of Nations. This Concert of Nations is a Concert of Powers, and it is
only as a Power that any nation plays its part in the concert, all the while that "power" here means eventual
warlike force.

Such a people as the Chinese, e.g., not pervaded with an adequate patriotic spirit, comes into the Concert of
Nations not as a Power but as a bone of contention. Not that the Chinese fall short in any of the qualities that
con[Pg 5]duce to efficiency and welfare in time of peace, but they appear, in effect, to lack that certain
"solidarity of prowess" by virtue of which they should choose to be (collectively) formidable rather than
(individually) fortunate and upright; and the modern civilised nations are not in a position, nor in a frame of
mind, to tolerate a neighbor whose only claim on their consideration falls under the category of peace on earth
and good-will among men. China appears hitherto not to have been a serviceable people for warlike ends,
except in so far as the resources of that country have been taken over and converted to warlike uses by some
alien power working to its own ends. Such have been the several alien dynasties that have seized upon that
country from time to time and have achieved dominion by usufruct of its unwarlike forces. Such has been the
nature of the Manchu empire of the recent past, and such is the evident purpose of the prospective Japanese
usufruct of the same country and its populace. Meantime the Chinese people appear to be incorrigibly
peaceable, being scarcely willing to fight in any concerted fashion even when driven into a corner by
unprovoked aggression, as in the present juncture. Such a people is very exceptional. Among civilised nations
there are, broadly speaking, none of that temper, with the sole exception of the Chinese,—if the
Chinese are properly to be spoken of as a nation.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
Modern warfare makes such large and direct use of the industrial arts, and depends for its successful
prosecution so largely on a voluminous and unremitting supply of civilian services and wrought goods, that
any inoffensive and industrious people, such as the Chinese, could doubtless now be turned to good account
by any warlike power that might have the disposal of their working[Pg 6] forces. To make their industrial
efficiency count in this way toward warlike enterprise and imperial dominion, the usufruct of any such
inoffensive and unpatriotic populace would have to fall into the hands of an alien governmental establishment.
And no alien government resting on the support of a home population trained in the habits of democracy or
given over to ideals of common honesty in national concerns could hopefully undertake the enterprise. This
work of empire-building out of unwarlike materials could apparently be carried out only by some alien power
hampered by no reserve of scruple, and backed by a servile populace of its own, imbued with an impeccable
loyalty to its masters and with a suitably bellicose temper, as, e.g., Imperial Japan or Imperial Germany.

However, for the commonplace national enterprise the common run will do very well. Any populace imbued
with a reasonable measure of patriotism will serve as ways and means to warlike enterprise under competent
management, even if it is not habitually prone to a bellicose temper. Rightly managed, ordinary patriotic
sentiment may readily be mobilised for warlike adventure by any reasonably adroit and single-minded body of
statesmen,—of which there is abundant illustration. All the peoples of Christendom are possessed of a
sufficiently alert sense of nationality, and by tradition and current usage all the national governments of
Christendom are warlike establishments, at least in the defensive sense; and the distinction between the
defensive and the offensive in international intrigue is a technical matter that offers no great difficulty. None
of these nations is of such an incorrigibly peaceable temper that they can be counted on to keep the peace
consistently in the ordinary course of events.[Pg 7]

Peace established by the State, or resting in the discretion of the State, is necessarily of the nature of an
armistice, in effect terminable at will and on short notice. It is maintained only on conditions, stipulated by
express convention or established by custom, and there is always the reservation, tacit or explicit, that
recourse will be had to arms in case the "national interests" or the punctilios of international etiquette are
traversed by the act or defection of any rival government or its subjects. The more nationally-minded the
government or its subject populace, the readier the response to the call of any such opportunity for an
unfolding of prowess. The most peaceable governmental policy of which Christendom has experience is a
policy of "watchful waiting," with a jealous eye to the emergence of any occasion for national resentment; and
the most irretrievably shameful dereliction of duty on the part of any civilised government would be its
eventual insensibility to the appeal of a "just war." Under any governmental auspices, as the modern world
knows governments, the keeping of the peace comes at its best under the precept, "Speak softly and carry a
big stick." But the case for peace is more precarious than the wording of the aphorism would indicate, in as
much as in practical fact the "big stick" is an obstacle to soft speech. Evidently, in the light of recent history, if
the peace is to be kept it will have to come about irrespective of governmental management,—in spite
of the State rather than by its good offices. At the best, the State, or the government, is an instrumentality for
making peace, not for perpetuating it.

Anyone who is interested in the nature and derivation of governmental institutions and establishments in
Eu[Pg 8]rope, in any but the formal respect, should be able to satisfy his curiosity by looking over the
shoulders of the professed students of Political Science. Quite properly and profitably that branch of
scholarship is occupied with the authentic pedigree of these institutions, and with the documentary
instruments in the case; since Political Science is, after all, a branch of theoretical jurisprudence and is
concerned about a formally competent analysis of the recorded legal powers. The material circumstances from
which these institutions once took their beginning, and the exigencies which have governed the rate and
direction of their later growth and mutation, as well as the de facto bearing of the institutional scheme on the
material welfare or the cultural fortunes of the given community,—while all these matters of fact may
be germane to the speculations of Political Theory, they are not intrinsic to its premises, to the logical
sequence of its inquiry, or to its theoretical findings. The like is also true, of course, as regards that system of

The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
habits of thought, that current frame of mind, in which any given institutional scheme necessarily is grounded,
and without the continued support of which any given scheme of governmental institutions or policy would
become nugatory and so would pass into the province of legal fiction. All these are not idle matters in the
purview of the student of Political Science, but they remain after all substantially extraneous to the structure
of political theory; and in so far as matters of this class are to be brought into the case at all, the specialists in
the field can not fairly be expected to contribute anything beyond an occasional obiter dictum. There can be
no discourteous presumption, therefore, in accepting the general theorems of current political theory without
prejudice, and looking past[Pg 9] the received theoretical formulations for a view of the substantial grounds
on which the governmental establishments have grown into shape, and the circumstances, material and
spiritual, that surround their continued working and effect.

By lineal descent the governmental establishments and the powers with which they are vested, in all the
Christian nations, are derived from the feudal establishments of the Middle Ages; which, in turn, are of a
predatory origin and of an irresponsible character.[2] In nearly all instances, but more particularly among the
nations that are accounted characteristically modern, the existing establishments have been greatly altered
from the mediaeval pattern, by concessive adaptation to later exigencies or by a more or less revolutionary
innovation. The degree of their modernity is (conventionally) measured, roughly, by the degree in which they
have departed from the mediaeval pattern. Wherever the unavoidable concessions have been shrewdly made
with a view to conserving the autonomy and irresponsibility of the governmental establishment, or the "State,"
and where the state of national sentiment has been led to favor this work of conservation, as, e.g., in the case
of Austria, Spain or Prussia, there the modern outcome has been what may be called a Dynastic State. Where,
on the other hand, the run of national sentiment has departed notably from the ancient holding ground of loyal
abnegation, and has enforced a measure of revolutionary innovation, as in the case of France or of the
English-speaking peoples, there the modern outcome has been an (ostensibly) democratic[Pg 10]
commonwealth of ungraded citizens. But the contrast so indicated is a contrast of divergent variants rather
than of opposites. These two type-forms may be taken as the extreme and inclusive limits of variation among
the governmental establishments with which the modern world is furnished.[3]

The effectual difference between these two theoretically contrasted types of governmental establishments is
doubtless grave enough, and for many purposes it is consequential, but it is after all not of such a nature as
need greatly detain the argument at this point. The two differ less, in effect, in that range of their functioning
which comes in question here than in their bearing on the community's fortunes apart from questions of war
and peace. In all cases there stand over in this bearing certain primary characteristics of the ancient régime,
which all these modern establishments have in common, though not all in an equal degree of preservation and
effectiveness. They are, e.g., all vested with certain attributes of "sovereignty." In all cases the citizen still
proves on closer attention to be in some measure a "subject" of the State, in that he is invariably conceived to
owe a "duty" to the constituted authorities in one respect and another. All civilised governments take
cognizance of Treason, Sedition, and the like; and all good citizens are not only content but profoundly
insistent on the clear duty of the citizen on this head. The bias of loyalty is not a matter on which argument is
tolerated. By virtue of this bias of loyalty, or "civic duty"—which still has much of the color of feudal
allegiance—the governmental establish[Pg 11]ment is within its rights in coercively controlling and
directing the actions of the citizen, or subject, in those respects that so lie within his duty; as also in
authoritatively turning his abilities to account for the purposes that so lie within the governmental discretion,
as, e.g., the Common Defense.

These rights and powers still remain to the governmental establishment even at the widest democratic
departure from that ancient pattern of masterful tutelage and usufruct that marked the old-fashioned
patrimonial State,—and that still marks the better preserved ones among its modern derivatives. And so
intrinsic to these governmental establishments are these discretionary powers, and by so unfailing a popular
bias are they still accounted a matter of course and of axiomatic necessity, that they have invariably been
retained also among the attributes of those democratic governments that trace their origin to a revolutionary

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break with the old order.

To many, all this will seem a pedantic taking note of commonplaces,—as if it were worth while
remarking that the existing governments are vested with the indispensable attributes of government. Yet
history records an instance at variance with this axiomatic rule, a rule which is held to be an unavoidable
deliverance of common sense. And it is by no means an altogether unique instance. It may serve to show that
these characteristic and unimpeachable powers that invest all current governmental establishments are, after
all, to be rated as the marks of a particular species of governments, and not characteristics of the genus of
governmental establishments at large. These powers answer to an acquired bias, not to an underlying trait of
human nature; a matter of habit, not of heredity.[Pg 12]

Such an historical instance is the so-called Republic, or Commonwealth, of Iceland—tenth to thirteenth

centuries. Its case is looked on by students of history as a spectacular anomaly, because it admitted none of
these primary powers of government in its constituted authorities. And yet, for contrast with these
matter-of-course preconceptions of these students of history, it is well to note that in the deliberations of those
ancients who installed the Republic for the management of their joint concerns, any inclusion of such powers
in its competency appears never to have been contemplated, not even to the extent of its being rejected. This
singularity—as it would be rated by modern statesmen and students—was in no degree a new
departure in state-making on the part of the founders of the Republic. They had no knowledge of such powers,
duties and accountabilities, except as unwholesome features of a novel and alien scheme of irresponsible
oppression that was sought to be imposed on them by Harald Fairhair, and which they incontinently made it
their chief and immediate business to evade. They also set up no joint or collective establishment with powers
for the Common Defense, nor does it appear that such a notion had occurred to them.

In the history of its installation there is no hint that the men who set up this Icelandic Commonwealth had any
sense of the need, or even of the feasibility, of such a coercive government as would be involved in concerted
preparation for the common defense. Subjection to personal rule, or to official rule in any degree of
attenuation, was not comprised in their traditional experience of citizenship; and it was necessarily out of the
elements comprised in this traditional experience that the new structure would have to be built up. The new
commonwealth[Pg 13] was necessarily erected on the premises afforded by the received scheme of use and
wont; and this received scheme had come down out of pre-feudal conditions, without having passed under the
discipline of that régime of coercion which the feudal system had imposed on the rest of Europe, and so had
established as an "immemorial usage" and a "second nature" among the populations of Christendom. The
resulting character of the Icelandic Commonwealth is sufficiently striking when contrasted with the case of
the English commonwealth of the seventeenth century, or the later French and American republics. These, all
and several, came out of a protracted experience in feudalistic state-making and State policy; and the common
defense—frequently on the offensive—with its necessary coercive machinery and its submissive
loyalty, consequently would take the central place in the resulting civic structure.

To close the tale of the Icelandic commonwealth it may be added that their republic of insubordinate citizens
presently fell into default, systematic misuse, under the disorders brought on by an accumulation of wealth,
and that it died of legal fiction and constitutional formalities after some experience at the hands of able and
ambitious statesmen in contact with an alien government drawn on the coercive plan. The clay vessel failed to
make good among the iron pots, and so proved its unfitness to survive in the world of Christian
nations,—very much as the Chinese are today at the mercy of the defensive rapacity of the Powers.

And the mercy that we gave them

Was to sink them in the sea,
Down on the coast of High Barbarie.
[Pg 14]

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No doubt, it will be accepted as an axiomatic certainty that the establishment of a commonwealth after the
fashion of the Icelandic Republic, without coercive authority or provision for the common defense, and
without a sense of subordination or collective responsibility among its citizens, would be out of all question
under existing circumstances of politics and international trade. Nor would such a commonwealth be
workable on the scale and at the pace imposed by modern industrial and commercial conditions, even apart
from international jealousy and ambitions, provided the sacred rights of ownership were to be maintained in
something like their current shape. And yet something of a drift of popular sentiment, and indeed something
of deliberate endeavour, setting in the direction of such a harmless and helpless national organisation is
always visible in Western Europe, throughout modern times; particularly through the eighteenth and the early
half of the nineteenth centuries; and more particularly among the English-speaking peoples and, with a
difference, among the French. The Dutch and the Scandinavian countries answer more doubtfully to the same

The movement in question is known to history as the Liberal, Rationalistic, Humanitarian, or Individualistic
departure. Its ideal, when formulated, is spoken of as the System of Natural Rights; and its goal in the way of
a national establishment has been well characterised by its critics as the Police State, or the Night-Watchman
State. The gains made in this direction, or perhaps better the inroads of this animus in national ideals, are
plainly to be set down as a shift in the direction of peace and amity; but it is also plain that the shift of ground
so initiated by this strain of sentiment has never reached[Pg 15] a conclusion and never has taken effect in
anything like an effectual working arrangement. Its practical consequences have been of the nature of
abatement and defection in the pursuit of national ambitions and dynastic enterprise, rather than a creative
work of installing any institutional furniture suitable to its own ends. It has in effect gone no farther than what
would be called an incipient correction of abuses. The highest rise, as well as the decline, of this movement lie
within the nineteenth century.

In point of time, the decay of this amiable conceit of laissez-faire in national policy coincides with the period
of great advance in the technology of transport and communication in the nineteenth century. Perhaps, on a
larger outlook, it should rather be said that the run of national ambitions and animosities had, in the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries, suffered a degree of decay through the diffusion of this sentimental predilection for
Natural Liberty, and that this decline of the manlier aspirations was then arrested and corrected by help of
these improvements in the technological situation; which enabled a closer and more coercive control to be
exercised over larger areas, and at the same time enabled a more massive aggregate of warlike force to strike
more effectively at a greater distance. This whole episode of the rise and decline of laissez-faire in modern
history is perhaps best to be conceived as a transient weakening of nationalism, by neglect; rather than
anything like the growth of a new and more humane ideal of national intercourse. Such would be the appraisal
to be had at the hands of those who speak for a strenuous national life and for the arbitrament of sportsmanlike
contention in human affairs. And the latterday growth of more militant aspirations,[Pg 16] together with the
more settled and sedulous attention to a development of control and of formidable armaments, such as
followed on through the latter half of the nineteenth century, would then be rated as a resumption of those
older aims and ideals that had been falling somewhat into abeyance in the slack-water days of Liberalism.

There is much to be said for this latter view; and, indeed, much has been said for it, particularly by the
spokesmen of imperialist politics. This bias of Natural Liberty has been associated in history with the
English-speaking peoples, more intimately and more extensively than with any other. Not that this amiable
conceit is in any peculiar degree a race characteristic of this group of peoples; nor even that the history of its
rise and decline runs wholly within the linguistic frontiers indicated by this characterisation. The French and
the Dutch have borne their share, and at an earlier day Italian sentiment and speculation lent its impulsion to
the same genial drift of faith and aspiration. But, by historical accident, its center of gravity and of diffusion
has lain with the English-speaking communities during the period when this bias made history and left its
impress on the institutional scheme of the Western civilisation. By grace of what may, for the present purpose,
be called historical accident, it happens that the interval of history during which the bias of Natural Liberty

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made visible headway was also a period during which these English-speaking peoples, among whom its
effects are chiefly visible, were relatively secure from international disturbance, by force of inaccessibility.
Little strain was put upon their sense of national solidarity or national prowess; so little, indeed, that there was
some danger of their patriotic animosity falling into decay by disuse; and then they were[Pg 17] also busy
with other things. Peaceable intercourse, it is true, was relatively easy, active and
far-reaching—eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—as compared with what had been the case
before that time; but warlike intercourse on such a scale as would constitute a substantial menace to any large
nation was nearly out of the question, so far as regards the English-speaking peoples. The available means of
aggression, as touches the case of these particular communities, were visibly and consciously inadequate as
compared with the means of defense. The means of internal or intra-national control or coercion were also less
well provided by the state of the arts current at that time than the means of peaceable intercourse. These
means of transport and communication were, at that stage of their development, less well suited for the
purposes of far-reaching warlike strategy and the exercise of surveillance and coercion over large spaces than
for the purposes of peaceable traffic.

But the continued improvement in the means of communication during the nineteenth century presently upset
that situation, and so presently began to neutralise the geographical quarantine which had hedged about these
communities that were inclined to let well enough alone. The increasing speed and accuracy of movement in
shipping, due to the successful introduction of steam, as well as the concomitant increasing size of the units of
equipment, all runs to this effect and presently sets at naught the peace barriers of sea and weather. So also the
development of railways and their increasing availability for strategic uses, together with the far-reaching
coordination of movement made possible by their means and by the telegraph; all of which is further
facilitated by the increasing mass and density of population. Improvements[Pg 18] in the technology of arms
and armament worked to the like effect, of setting the peace of any community on an increasingly precarious
footing, through the advantage which this new technology gave to a ready equipment and a rapid mobilisation.
The new state of the industrial arts serviceable for warlike enterprise put an increasingly heavy premium on
readiness for offense or defense, but more particularly it all worked increasingly to the advantage of the
offensive. It put the Fabian strategy out of date, and led to the doctrine of a defensive offense.

Gradually it came true, with the continued advance in those industrial arts that lend themselves to strategic
uses, and it came also to be realised, that no corner of the earth was any longer secure by mere favor of
distance and natural difficulty, from eventual aggression at the hands of any provident and adventurous
assailant,—even by help of a modicum of defensive precaution. The fear of aggression then came
definitively to take the place of international good-will and became the chief motive in public policy, so fast
and so far as the state of the industrial arts continued to incline the balance of advantage to the side of the
aggressor. All of which served greatly to strengthen the hands of those statesmen who, by interest or
temperament, were inclined to imperialistic enterprise. Since that period all armament has conventionally
been accounted defensive, and all statesmen have professed that the common defense is their chief concern.
Professedly all armament has been designed to keep the peace; so much of a shadow of the peaceable bias
there still stands over.

Throughout this latest phase of modern civilisation the avowed fear of aggression has served as apology,
possibly as provocation in fact, to national armaments; and[Pg 19] throughout the same period any analysis of
the situation will finally run the chain of fear back to Prussia as the putative or actual, center of disturbance
and apprehension. No doubt, Prussian armament has taken the lead and forced the pace among the nations of
Christendom; but the Prussian policy, too, has been diligently covered with the same decorous plea of needful
provision for the common defense and an unremitting solicitude for international peace,—to which has
been added the canny afterthought of the "defensive offense."

It is characteristic of this era of armed peace that in all these extensive preparations for breaking the peace any
formal avowal of other than a defensive purpose has at all times been avoided as an insufferable breach of

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diplomatic decorum. It is likewise characteristic of the same era that armaments have unremittingly been
increased, beyond anything previously known; and that all men have known all the while that the inevitable
outcome of this avowedly defensive armament must eventually be war on an unprecedented scale and of
unexampled ferocity. It would be neither charitable nor otherwise to the point to call attention to the reflection
which this state of the case throws on the collective sagacity or the good faith of the statesmen who have had
the management of affairs. It is not practicable to imagine how such an outcome as the present could have
been brought about by any degree of stupidity or incapacity alone, nor is it easier to find evidence that the
utmost sagacity of the statecraft engaged has had the slightest mitigating effect on the evil consummation to
which the whole case has been brought. It has long been a commonplace among observers of public events
that these professedly defensive warlike preparations have in effect been preparations[Pg 20] for breaking the
peace; against which, at least ostensibly, a remedy had been sought in the preparation of still heavier
armaments, with full realisation that more armament would unfailingly entail a more unsparing and more
disastrous war,—which sums up the statecraft of the past half century.

Prussia, and afterwards Prussianised Germany, has come in for the distinction of taking the lead and forcing
the pace in this competitive preparation—or "preparedness"—for war in time of peace. That such
has been the case appears in good part to be something of a fortuitous circumstance. The season of
enterprising force and fraud to which that country owes its induction into the concert of nations is an episode
of recent history; so recent, indeed, that the German nation has not yet had time to live it down and let it be
forgotten; and the Imperial State is consequently burdened with an irritably uneasy sense of odium and an
established reputation for unduly bad faith. From which it has followed, among other things, that the
statesmen of the Empire have lived in the expectation of having their unforgotten derelictions brought home,
and so have, on the one hand, found themselves unable to credit any pacific intentions professed by the
neighboring Powers, while on the other hand they have been unable to gain credence for their own voluble
professions of peace and amity. So it has come about that, by a fortuitous conjuncture of scarcely relevant
circumstances, Prussia and the Empire have been thrown into the lead in the race of "preparedness" and have
been led assiduously to hasten a breach which they could ill afford. It is, to say the least, extremely doubtful if
the event would have been substantially different in the absence of that special provocation to com[Pg
21]petitive preparedness that has been injected into the situation by this German attitude; but the rate of
approach to a warlike climax has doubtless been hastened by the anticipatory policy of preparedness which
the Prussian dynasty has seen itself constrained to pursue. Eventually, the peculiar circumstances of its
case—embarrassment at home and distaste and discredit abroad—have induced the Imperial
State to take the line of a defensive offense, to take war by the forelock and retaliate on presumptive enemies
for prospective grievances. But in any case, the progressive improvement in transport and communication, as
well as in the special technology of warfare, backed by greatly enhanced facilities for indoctrinating the
populace with militant nationalism,—these ways and means, working under the hand of patriotic
statesmen must in course of the past century have brought the peace of Europe to so precarious a footing as
would have provoked a material increase in the equipment for national defense; which would unavoidably
have led to competitive armament and an enhanced international distrust and animosity, eventually
culminating in hostilities.

It may well be that the plea of defensive preparation advanced by the statesmen, Prussian and others, in
apology for competitive armaments is a diplomatic subterfuge,—there are indications that such has
commonly been the case; but even if it commonly is visibly disingenuous, the need of making such a plea to
cover more sinister designs is itself an evidence that an avowedly predatory enterprise no longer meets with
the requisite popular approval. Even if an exception to this rule be admitted in the recent attitude of the
German people, it is to be recalled that the exception was allowed to stand[Pg 22] only transiently, and that
presently the avowal of a predatory design in this case was urgently disclaimed in the face of adversity. Even
those who speak most fluently for the necessity of war, and for its merits as a needed discipline in the manly
virtues, are constrained by the prevailing sentiment to deprecate its necessity.

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Yet it is equally evident that when once a warlike enterprise has been entered upon so far as to commit the
nation to hostilities, it will have the cordial support of popular sentiment even if it is patently an aggressive
war. Indeed, it is quite a safe generalisation that when hostilities have once been got fairly under way by the
interested statesmen, the patriotic sentiment of the nation may confidently be counted on to back the
enterprise irrespective of the merits of the quarrel. But even if the national sentiment is in this way to be
counted in as an incidental matter of course, it is also to be kept in mind in this connection that any quarrel so
entered upon by any nation will forthwith come to have the moral approval of the community. Dissenters will
of course be found, sporadically, who do not readily fall in with the prevailing animus; but as a general
proposition it will still hold true that any such quarrel forthwith becomes a just quarrel in the eyes of those
who have so been committed to it.

A corollary following from this general theorem may be worth noting in the same connection. Any politician
who succeeds in embroiling his country in a war, however nefarious, becomes a popular hero and is reputed a
wise and righteous statesman, at least for the time being. Illustrative instances need perhaps not, and indeed
can not gracefully, be named; most popular heroes and reputed statesmen belong in this class.[Pg 23]

Another corollary, which bears more immediately on the question in hand, follows also from the same general
proposition: Since the ethical values involved in any given international contest are substantially of the nature
of afterthought or accessory, they may safely be left on one side in any endeavour to understand or account for
any given outbreak of hostilities. The moral indignation of both parties to the quarrel is to be taken for
granted, as being the statesman's chief and necessary ways and means of bringing any warlike enterprise to a
head and floating it to a creditable finish. It is a precipitate of the partisan animosity that inspires both parties
and holds them to their duty of self-sacrifice and devastation, and at its best it will chiefly serve as a cloak of
self-righteousness to extenuate any exceptionally profligate excursions in the conduct of hostilities.

Any warlike enterprise that is hopefully to be entered on must have the moral sanction of the community, or
of an effective majority in the community. It consequently becomes the first concern of the warlike statesman
to put this moral force in train for the adventure on which he is bent. And there are two main lines of
motivation by which the spiritual forces of any Christian nation may so be mobilised for warlike adventure:
(1) The preservation or furtherance of the community's material interests, real or fancied, and (2) vindication
of the national honour. To these should perhaps be added as a third, the advancement and perpetuation of the
nation's "Culture;" that is to say, of its habitual scheme of use and wont. It is a nice question whether, in
practical effect, the aspiration to perpetuate the national Culture is consistently to be distinguished from the
vindication of the national honour. There is perhaps the distinction to[Pg 24] be made that "the perpetuation of
the national Culture" lends a readier countenance to gratuitous aggression and affords a broader cover for
incidental atrocities, since the enemies of the national Culture will necessarily be conceived as an inferior and
obstructive people, falling beneath the rules of commonplace decorum.

Those material interests for which modern nations are in the habit of taking to arms are commonly of a
fanciful character, in that they commonly have none but an imaginary net value to the community at large.
Such are, e.g., the national trade or the increase of the national territory. These and the like may serve the
warlike or dynastic ambitions of the nation's masters; they may also further the interests of office-holders, and
more particularly of certain business houses or businessmen who stand to gain some small advantage by help
of the powers in control; but it all signifies nothing more to the common man than an increased bill of
governmental expense and a probable increase in the cost of living.

That a nation's trade should be carried in vessels owned by its citizens or registered in its ports will doubtless
have some sentimental value to the common run of its citizens, as is shown by the fact that disingenuous
politicians always find it worth their while to appeal to this chauvinistic predilection. But it patently is all a
completely idle question, in point of material advantage, to anyone but the owners of the vessels; and to these
owners it is also of no material consequence under what flag their investments sail, except so far as the

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government in question may afford them some preferential opportunity for gain,—always at the cost of
their fellow citizens. The like is equally true as regards the domicile and the national allegiance of the
businessmen who buy[Pg 25] and sell the country's imports and exports. The common man plainly has no
slightest material interest in the nationality or the place of residence of those who conduct this traffic; though
all the facts go to say that in some puzzle-headed way the common man commonly persuades himself that it
does make some occult sort of difference to him; so that he is commonly willing to pay something substantial
toward subsidising businessmen of his own nationality, in the way of a protective tariff and the like.

The only material advantage to be derived from such a preferential trade policy arises in the case of
international hostilities, in which case the home-owned vessels and merchants may on occasion count toward
military readiness; although even in that connection their value is contingent and doubtful. But in this way
they may contribute in their degree to a readiness to break off peaceable relations with other countries. It is
only for warlike purposes, that is to say for the dynastic ambitions of warlike statesmen, that these preferential
contrivances in economic policy have any substantial value; and even in that connection their expediency is
always doubtful. They are a source of national jealousy, and they may on occasion become a help to military
strategy when this national jealousy eventuates in hostilities.

The run of the facts touching this matter of national trade policy is something as follows: At the instance of
businessmen who stand to gain by it, and with the cordial support of popular sentiment, the constituted
authorities sedulously further the increase of shipping and commerce under protection of the national power.
At the same time they spend substance and diplomatic energy in an endeavor to extend the international
market facilities open to the country's businessmen, with a view[Pg 26] always to a preferential advantage in
favor of these businessmen, also with the sentimental support of the common man and at his cost. To
safeguard these commercial interests, as well as property-holdings of the nation's citizens in foreign parts, the
nation maintains naval, military, consular and diplomatic establishments, at the common expense. The total
gains derivable from these commercial and investment interests abroad, under favorable circumstances, will
never by any chance equal the cost of the governmental apparatus installed to further and safeguard them.
These gains, such as they are, go to the investors and businessmen engaged in these enterprises; while the
costs incident to the adventure are borne almost wholly by the common man, who gets no gain from it all.
Commonly, as in the case of a protective tariff or a preferential navigation law, the cost to the common man is
altogether out of proportion to the gain which accrues to the businessmen for whose benefit he carries the
burden. The only other class, besides the preferentially favored businessmen, who derive any material benefit
from this arrangement is that of the office-holders who take care of this governmental traffic and draw
something in the way of salaries and perquisites; and whose cost is defrayed by the common man, who
remains an outsider in all but the payment of the bills. The common man is proud and glad to bear this burden
for the benefit of his wealthier neighbors, and he does so with the singular conviction that in some occult
manner he profits by it. All this is incredible, but it is everyday fact.

In case it should happen that these business interests of the nation's businessmen interested in trade or
investments abroad are jeopardised by a disturbance of any[Pg 27] kind in these foreign parts in which these
business interests lie, then it immediately becomes the urgent concern of the national authorities to use all
means at hand for maintaining the gainful traffic of these businessmen undiminished, and the common man
pays the cost. Should such an untoward situation go to such sinister lengths as to involve actual loss to these
business interests or otherwise give rise to a tangible grievance, it becomes an affair of the national honour;
whereupon no sense of proportion as between the material gains at stake and the cost of remedy or retaliation
need longer be observed, since the national honour is beyond price. The motivation in the case shifts from the
ground of material interest to the spiritual ground of the moral sentiments.

In this connection "honour" is of course to be taken in the euphemistic sense which the term has under the
code duello governing "affairs of honour." It carries no connotation of honesty, veracity, equity, liberality, or
unselfishness. This national honour is of the nature of an intangible or immaterial asset, of course; it is a

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matter of prestige, a sportsmanlike conception; but that fact must not be taken to mean that it is of any the less
substantial effect for purposes of a casus belli than the material assets of the community. Quite the contrary:
"Who steals my purse, steals trash," etc. In point of fact, it will commonly happen that any material grievance
must first be converted into terms of this spiritual capital, before it is effectually turned to account as a
stimulus to warlike enterprise.

Even among a people with so single an eye to the main chance as the American community it will be found
true, on experiment or on review of the historical evidence, that an offense against the national honour
commands a[Pg 28] profounder and more unreserved resentment than any infraction of the rights of person or
property simply. This has latterly been well shown in connection with the manoeuvres of the several European
belligerents, designed to bend American neutrality to the service of one side or the other. Both parties have
aimed to intimidate and cajole; but while the one party has taken recourse to effrontery and has made much
and ostentatious use of threats and acts of violence against person and property, the other has constantly
observed a deferential attitude toward American national self-esteem, even while engaged on a persistent
infraction of American commercial rights. The first named line of diplomacy has convicted itself of
miscarriage and has lost the strategic advantage, as against the none too adroit finesse of the other side. The
statesmen of this European war power were so ill advised as to enter on a course of tentatively cumulative
intimidation, by threats and experimentally graduated crimes against the property and persons of American
citizens, with a view to coerce American cupidity and yet to avoid carrying these manoeuvres of terrorism far
enough to arouse an unmanageable sense of outrage. The experiment has served to show that the breaking
point in popular indignation will be reached before the terrorism has gone far enough to raise a serious
question of pecuniary caution.

This national honour, which so is rated a necessary of life, is an immaterial substance in a peculiarly
high-wrought degree, being not only not physically tangible but also not even capable of adequate statement
in pecuniary terms,—as would be the case with ordinary immaterial assets. It is true, where the point of
grievance out of which a question of the national honour arises is a pe[Pg 29]cuniary discrepancy, the national
honour can not be satisfied without a pecuniary accounting; but it needs no argument to convince all
right-minded persons that even at such a juncture the national honour that has been compromised is
indefinitely and indefinably more than what can be made to appear on an accountant's page. It is a highly
valued asset, or at least a valued possession, but it is of a metaphysical, not of a physical nature, and it is not
known to serve any material or otherwise useful end apart from affording a practicable grievance consequent
upon its infraction.

This national honour is subject to injury in divers ways, and so may yield a fruitful grievance even apart from
offences against the person or property of the nation's businessmen; as, e.g., through neglect or disregard of
the conventional punctilios governing diplomatic intercourse, or by disrespect or contumelious speech
touching the Flag, or the persons of national officials, particularly of such officials as have only a decorative
use, or the costumes worn by such officials, or, again, by failure to observe the ritual prescribed for parading
the national honour on stated occasions. When duly violated the national honour may duly be made whole
again by similarly immaterial instrumentalities; as, e.g., by recital of an appropriate formula of words, by
formal consumption of a stated quantity of ammunition in the way of a salute, by "dipping" an ensign, and the
like,—procedure which can, of course, have none but a magical efficacy. The national honour, in short,
moves in the realm of magic, and touches the frontiers of religion.

Throughout this range of duties incumbent on the national defense, it will be noted, the offenses or
discrepancies to be guarded against or corrected by recourse to[Pg 30] arms have much of a ceremonial
character. Whatever may be the material accidents that surround any given concrete grievance that comes up
for appraisal and redress, in bringing the case into the arena for trial by combat it is the spiritual value of the
offense that is played up and made the decisive ground of action, particularly in so far as appeal is made to the
sensibilities of the common man, who will have to bear the cost of the adventure. And in such a case it will

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commonly happen that the common man is unable, without advice, to see that any given hostile act embodies
a sacrilegious infraction of the national honour. He will at any such conjuncture scarcely rise to the pitch of
moral indignation necessary to float a warlike reprisal, until the expert keepers of the Code come in to
expound and certify the nature of the transgression. But when once the lesion to the national honour has been
ascertained, appraised and duly exhibited by those persons whose place in the national economy it is to look
after all that sort of thing, the common man will be found nowise behindhand about resenting the evil usage of
which he so, by force of interpretation, has been a victim.[Pg 31]


On the Nature and Uses of Patriotism

Patriotism may be defined as a sense of partisan solidarity in respect of prestige. What the expert
psychologists, and perhaps the experts in Political Science, might find it necessary to say in the course of an
exhaustive analysis and definition of this human faculty would presumably be something more precise and
more extensive. There is no inclination here to forestall definition, but only to identify and describe the
concept that loosely underlies the colloquial use of this term, so far as seems necessary to an inquiry into the
part played by the patriotic animus in the life of modern peoples, particularly as it bears on questions of war
and peace.

On any attempt to divest this concept of all extraneous or adventitious elements it will be found that such a
sense of an undivided joint interest in a collective body of prestige will always remain as an irreducible
minimum. This is the substantial core about which many and divers subsidiary interests cluster, but without
which these other clustering interests and aspirations will not, jointly or severally, make up a working
palladium of the patriotic spirit.

It is true, seen in some other light or rated in some other bearing or connection, one and another of these other
interests, ideals, aspirations, beatitudes, may well be adjudged nobler, wiser, possibly more urgent than the[Pg
32] national prestige; but in the forum of patriotism all these other necessaries of human life—the glory
of God and the good of man—rise by comparison only to the rank of subsidiaries, auxiliaries,
amenities. He is an indifferent patriot who will let "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" cloud the issue
and get in the way of the main business in hand.

There once were, we are told, many hardy and enterprising spirits banded together along the Spanish Main for
such like ends, just as there are in our day an even greater number of no less single-minded spirits bent on
their own "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness," according to their light, in the money-markets of the modern
world; but for all their admirable qualities and splendid achievements, their passionate quest of these
amenities has not entitled these Gentlemen Adventurers to claim rank as patriots. The poet says:

"Strike for your altars and your fires!

Strike for the green graves of your sires!
God and your native land!"

But, again, a temperate scrutiny of the list of desiderata so enumerated in the poet's flight, will quickly bring
out the fact that any or all of them might drop out of the situation without prejudice to the plain call of
patriotic duty. In the last resort, when the patriotic spirit falls back on its naked self alone, it is not reflection
on the merits of these good and beautiful things in Nature that gives him his cue and enforces the ultimate
sacrifice. Indeed it is something infinitely more futile and infinitely more urgent,—provided only that
the man is imbued with the due modicum of patriotic devotion; as, indeed, men commonly are. It is not faith,
hope or charity that abide as the irreducible minimum of virtue in the patriot's[Pg 33] scheme of things;

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particularly not that charity that has once been highly spoken of as being the greatest of these. It may be that,
viewed in the light of reason, as Doctor Katzenberger would say, patriotic devotion is the most futile thing in
the world; but, for good or ill, the light of reason has nothing to do with the case,—no more than "The
flowers that bloom in the spring."

The patriotic spirit is a spirit of emulation, evidently, at the same time that it is emulation shot through with a
sense of solidarity. It belongs under the general caption of sportsmanship, rather than of workmanship. Now,
any enterprise in sportsmanship is bent on an invidious success, which must involve as its major purpose the
defeat and humiliation of some competitor, whatever else may be comprised in its aim. Its aim is a differential
gain, as against a rival; and the emulative spirit that comes under the head of patriotism commonly, if not
invariably, seeks this differential advantage by injury of the rival rather than by an increase of home-bred

Indeed, well-being is altogether out of the perspective, except as underpinning for an edifice of national
prestige. It is, at least, a safe generalisation that the patriotic sentiment never has been known to rise to the
consummate pitch of enthusiastic abandon except when bent on some work of concerted malevolence.
Patriotism is of a contentious complexion, and finds its full expression in no other outlet than warlike
enterprise; its highest and final appeal is for the death, damage, discomfort and destruction of the party of the
second part.

It is not that the spirit of patriotism will tolerate no other sentiments bearing on matters of public interest, but
only that it will tolerate none that traverse the call[Pg 34] of the national prestige. Like other men, the patriot
may be moved by many and divers other considerations, besides that of the national prestige; and these other
considerations may be of the most genial and reasonable kind, or they may also be as foolish and mischievous
as any comprised in the range of human infirmities. He may be a humanitarian given over to the kindliest
solicitude for the common good, or a religious devotee hedged about in all his motions by the ever present
fear of God, or taken up with artistic, scholarly or scientific pursuits; or, again, he may be a spendthrift
devotee of profane dissipation, whether in the slums or on the higher levels of gentility, or he may be engaged
on a rapacious quest of gain, as a businessman within the law or as a criminal without its benefit, or he may
spend his best endeavors in advancing the interests of his class at the cost of the nation at large. All that is
understood as a matter of course and is beside the point. In so far as he is a complete patriot these other
interests will fall away from him when the one clear call of patriotic duty comes to enlist him in the cause of
the national prestige. There is, indeed, nothing to hinder a bad citizen being a good patriot; nor does it follow
that a good citizen—in other respects—may not be a very indifferent patriot.

Many and various other preferences and considerations may coincide with the promptings of the patriotic
spirit, and so may come in to coalesce with and fortify its driving force; and it is usual for patriotic men to
seek support for their patriotic impulses in some reasoned purpose of this extraneous kind that is believed to
be served by following the call of the national prestige,—it may be a presumptive increase and
diffusion of culture at large, or the spread and enhancement of a presump[Pg 35]tively estimable religious
faith, or a prospective liberation of mankind from servitude to obnoxious masters and outworn institutions; or,
again, it may be the increase of peace and material well-being among men, within the national frontiers or
impartially throughout the civilised world. There are, substantially, none of the desirable things in this world
that are not so counted on by some considerable body of patriots to be accomplished by the success of their
own particular patriotic aspirations. What they will not come to an understanding about is the particular
national ascendency with which the attainment of these admirable ends is conceived to be bound up.

The ideals, needs and aims that so are brought into the patriotic argument to lend a color of rationality to the
patriotic aspiration in any given case will of course be such ideals, needs and aims as are currently accepted
and felt to be authentic and self-legitimating among the people in whose eyes the given patriotic enterprise is
to find favor. So one finds that, e.g., among the followers of Islam, devout and resolute, the patriotic

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statesman (that is to say the politician who designs to make use of the popular patriotic fervor) will in the last
resort appeal to the claims and injunctions of the faith. In a similar way the Prussian statesman bent on
dynastic enterprise will conjure in the name of the dynasty and of culture and efficiency; or, if worse comes to
worst, an outbreak will be decently covered with a plea of mortal peril and self-defense. Among
English-speaking peoples much is to be gained by showing that the path of patriotic glory is at the same time
the way of equal-handed justice under the rule of free institutions; at the same time, in a fully commercialised
community, such as the English-speaking commonly are, material benefits in the[Pg 36] way of trade will go
far to sketch in a background of decency for any enterprise that looks to the enhancement of the national

But any promise of gain, whether in the nation's material or immaterial assets, will not of itself carry full
conviction to the commonplace modern citizen; or even to such modern citizens as are best endowed with a
national spirit. By and large, and overlooking that appreciable contingent of morally defective citizens that is
to be counted on in any hybrid population, it will hold true that no contemplated enterprise or line of policy
will fully commend itself to the popular sense of merit and expediency until it is given a moral turn, so as to
bring it to square with the dictates of right and honest dealing. On no terms short of this will it effectually
coalesce with the patriotic aspiration. To give the fullest practical effect to the patriotic fervor that animates
any modern nation, and so turn it to use in the most effective way, it is necessary to show that the demands of
equity are involved in the case. Any cursory survey of modern historical events bearing on this point, among
the civilised peoples, will bring out the fact that no concerted and sustained movement of the national spirit
can be had without enlisting the community's moral convictions. The common man must be persuaded that
right is on his side. "Thrice is he armed who knows his quarrel just." The grounds of this conviction may often
be tawdry enough, but the conviction is a necessary factor in the case.

The requisite moral sanction may be had on various grounds, and, on the whole, it is not an extremely difficult
matter to arrange. In the simplest and not infrequent case it may turn on a question of equity in respect of trade
or investment as between the citizens or subjects of the[Pg 37] several rival nations; the Chinese "Open Door"
affords as sordid an example as may be desired. Or it may be only an envious demand for a share in the
world's material resources—"A Place in the Sun," as a picturesque phrase describes it; or "The
Freedom of the Seas," as another equally vague and equally invidious demand for international equity phrases
it. These demands are put forward with a color of demanding something in the way of equitable opportunity
for the commonplace peaceable citizen; but quite plainly they have none but a fanciful bearing on the fortunes
of the common man in time of peace, and they have a meaning to the nation only as a fighting unit; apart from
their prestige value, these things are worth fighting for only as prospective means of fighting. The like appeal
to the moral sensibilities may, again, be made in the way of a call to self-defense, under the rule of Live and
let live; or it may also rest on the more tenuous obligation to safeguard the national integrity of a weaker
neighbor, under a broader interpretation of the same equitable rule of Live and let live. But in one way or
another it is necessary to set up the conviction that the promptings of patriotic ambition have the sanction of
moral necessity.

It is not that the line of national policy or patriotic enterprise so entered upon with the support of popular
sentiment need be right and equitable as seen in dispassionate perspective from the outside, but only that it
should be capable of being made to seem right and equitable to the biased populace whose moral convictions
are requisite to its prosecution; which is quite another matter. Nor is it that any such patriotic enterprise is, in
fact, entered on simply or mainly on these moral grounds that so are alleged in its justification, but only[Pg
38] that some such colorable ground of justification or extenuation is necessary to be alleged, and to be
credited by popular belief.

It is not that the common man is not sufficiently patriotic, but only that he is a patriot hampered with a
plodding and uneasy sense of right and honest dealing, and that one must make up one's account with this
moral bias in looking to any sustained and concerted action that draws on the sentiment of the common man

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for its carrying on. But the moral sense in the case may be somewhat easily satisfied with a modicum of
equity, in case the patriotic bias of the people is well pronounced, or in case it is reenforced with a sufficient
appeal to self-interest. In those cases where the national fervor rises to an excited pitch, even very attenuated
considerations of right and justice, such as would under ordinary conditions doubtfully bear scrutiny as
extenuating circumstances, may come to serve as moral authentication for any extravagant course of action to
which the craving for national prestige may incite. The higher the pitch of patriotic fervor, the more tenuous
and more thread-bare may be the requisite moral sanction. By cumulative excitation some very remarkable
results have latterly been attained along this line.

Patriotism is evidently a spirit of particularism, of aliency and animosity between contrasted groups of
persons; it lives on invidious comparison, and works out in mutual hindrance and jealousy between nations. It
commonly goes the length of hindering intercourse and obstructing traffic that would patently serve the
material and cultural well-being of both nationalities; and not[Pg 39] infrequently, indeed normally, it
eventuates in competitive damage to both.

All this holds true in the world of modern civilisation, at the same time that the modern civilised scheme of
life is, notoriously, of a cosmopolitan character, both in its cultural requirements and in its economic structure.
Modern culture is drawn on too large a scale, is of too complex and multiform a character, requires the
cooperation of too many and various lines of inquiry, experience and insight, to admit of its being confined
within national frontiers, except at the cost of insufferable crippling and retardation. The science and
scholarship that is the peculiar pride of civilised Christendom is not only international, but rather it is
homogeneously cosmopolitan; so that in this bearing there are, in effect, no national frontiers; with the
exception, of course, that in a season of patriotic intoxication, such as the current war has induced, even the
scholars and scientists will be temporarily overset by their patriotic fervour. Indeed, with the best efforts of
obscurantism and national jealousy to the contrary, it remains patently true that modern culture is the culture
of Christendom at large, not the culture of one and another nation in severalty within the confines of
Christendom. It is only as and in so far as they partake in and contribute to the general run of Western
civilisation at large that the people of any one of these nations of Christendom can claim standing as a
cultured nation; and even any distinctive variation from this general run of civilised life, such as may give a
"local colour" of ideals, tastes and conventions, will, in point of cultural value, have to be rated as an idle
detail, a species of lost motion, that serves no better purpose than a transient estrangement.[Pg 40]

So also, the modern state of the industrial arts is of a like cosmopolitan character, in point of scale,
specialisation, and the necessary use of diversified resources, of climate and raw materials. None of the
countries of Europe, e.g., is competent to carry on its industry by modern technological methods without
constantly drawing on resources outside of its national boundaries. Isolation in this industrial respect,
exclusion from the world market, would mean intolerable loss of efficiency, more pronounced the more fully
the given country has taken over this modern state of the industrial arts. Exclusion from the general body of
outlying resources would seriously cripple any one or all of them, and effectually deprive them of the usufruct
of this technology; and partial exclusion, by prohibitive or protective tariffs and the like, unavoidably results
in a partial lowering of the efficiency of each, and therefore a reduction of the current well-being among them
all together.

Into this cultural and technological system of the modern world the patriotic spirit fits like dust in the eyes and
sand in the bearings. Its net contribution to the outcome is obscuration, distrust, and retardation at every point
where it touches the fortunes of modern mankind. Yet it is forever present in the counsels of the statesmen and
in the affections of the common man, and it never ceases to command the regard of all men as the prime
attribute of manhood and the final test of the desirable citizen. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that no
other consideration is allowed in abatement of the claims of patriotic loyalty, and that such loyalty will be
allowed to cover any multitude of sins. When the ancient philosopher described Man as a "political animal,"
this, in effect, was what he affirmed; and today the[Pg 41] ancient maxim is as good as new. The patriotic

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spirit is at cross purposes with modern life, but in any test case it is found that the claims of life yield before
those of patriotism; and any voice that dissents from this order of things is as a voice crying in the wilderness.

To anyone who is inclined to moralise on the singular discrepancies of human life this state of the case will be
fruitful of much profound speculation. The patriotic animus appears to be an enduring trait of human nature,
an ancient heritage that has stood over unshorn from time immemorial, under the Mendelian rule of the
stability of racial types. It is archaic, not amenable to elimination or enduring suppression, and apparently not
appreciably to be mitigated by reflection, education, experience or selective breeding.

Throughout the historical period, and presumably through an incalculable period of the unrecorded past,
patriotic manslaughter has consistently been weeding out of each successive generation of men the most
patriotic among them; with the net result that the level of patriotic ardor today appears to be no lower than it
ever was. At the same time, with the advance of population, of culture and of the industrial arts, patriotism has
grown increasingly disserviceable; and it is to all appearance as ubiquitous and as powerful as ever, and is
held in as high esteem.

The continued prevalence of this archaic animus among the modern peoples, as well as the fact that it is
universally placed high among the virtues, must be taken to argue that it is, in its elements, an hereditary trait,
of the nature of an inborn impulsive propensity, rather than a product of habituation. It is, in substance, not
something[Pg 42] that can be learned and unlearned. From one generation to another, the allegiance may shift
from one nationality to another, but the fact of unreflecting allegiance at large remains. And it all argues also
that no sensible change has taken effect in the hereditary endowment of the race, at least in this respect, during
the period known by record or by secure inference,—say, since the early Neolithic in Europe; and this
in spite of the fact that there has all this while been opportunity for radical changes in the European population
by cross-breeding, infiltration and displacement of the several racial stocks that go to make up this population.
Hence, on slight reflection the inference has suggested itself and has gained acceptance that this trait of human
nature must presumably have been serviceable to the peoples of the earlier time, on those levels of savagery or
of the lower barbarism on which the ancestral stocks of the European population first made good their
survival and proved their fitness to people that quarter of the earth. Such, indeed, is the common view; so
common as to pass for matter-of-course, and therefore habitually to escape scrutiny.

Still it need not follow, as more patient reflection will show. All the European peoples show much the same
animus in this respect; whatever their past history may have been, and whatever the difference in past
experience that might be conceived to have shaped their temperament. Any difference in the pitch of patriotic
conceit and animosity, between the several nationalities or the several localities, is by no means wide, even in
cases where the racial composition of the population is held to be very different, as, e.g., between the peoples
on the Baltic seaboard and those on the Mediterranean. In point of fact, in this matter of patriotic animus there
appears[Pg 43] to be a wider divergence, temperamentally, between individuals within any one of these
communities than between the common run in any one community and the corresponding common run in any
other. But even such divergence of individual temper in respect of patriotism as is to be met with, first and
last, is after all surprisingly small in view of the scope for individual variation which this European population
would seem to offer.

These peoples of Europe, all and several, are hybrids compounded out of the same run of racial elements, but
mixed in varying proportions. On any parallel of latitude—taken in the climatic rather than in the
geometric sense—the racial composition of the west-European population will be much the same,
virtually identical in effect, although always of a hybrid complexion; whereas on any parallel of
longitude—also in the climatic sense—the racial composition will vary progressively, but
always within the limits of the same general scheme of hybridisation,—the variation being a variation
in the proportion in which the several racial elements are present in any given case. But in no case does a

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notable difference in racial composition coincide with a linguistic or national frontier. But in point of patriotic
animus these European peoples are one as good as another, whether the comparison be traced on parallels of
latitude or of longitude. And the inhabitants of each national territory, or of each detail locality, appear also to
run surprisingly uniform in respect of their patriotic spirit.

Heredity in any such community of hybrids will, superficially, appear to run somewhat haphazard. There will,
of course, be no traceable difference between social or economic classes, in point of heredity,—as is
visibly[Pg 44] the case in Christendom. But variation—of an apparently haphazard
description—will be large and ubiquitous among the individuals of such a populace. Indeed, it is a
matter of course and of easy verification that individual variation within such a hybrid stock will greatly
exceed the extreme differences that may subsist between the several racial types that have gone to produce the
hybrid stock. Such is the case of the European peoples. The inhabitants vary greatly among themselves, both
in physical and in mental traits, as would be expected; and the variation between individuals in point of
patriotic animus should accordingly also be expected to be extremely wide,—should, in effect, greatly
exceed the difference, if any, in this respect between the several racial elements engaged in the European
population. Some appreciable difference in this respect there appears to be, between individuals; but
individual divergence from the normal or average appears always to be of a sporadic sort,—it does not
run on class lines, whether of occupation, status or property, nor does it run at all consistently from parent to
child. When all is told the argument returns to the safe ground that these variations in point of patriotic animus
are sporadic and inconsequential, and do not touch the general proposition that, one with another, the
inhabitants of Europe and the European Colonies are sufficiently patriotic, and that the average endowment in
this respect runs with consistent uniformity across all differences of time, place and circumstance. It would, in
fact, be extremely hazardous to affirm that there is a sensible difference in the ordinary pitch of patriotic
sentiment as between any two widely diverse samples of these hybrid populations, in spite of the fact that the
diversity in visible physical traits may be quite pronounced.[Pg 45]

In short, the conclusion seems safe, on the whole, that in this respect the several racial stocks that have gone
to produce the existing populations of Christendom have all been endowed about as richly one as another.
Patriotism appears to be a ubiquitous trait, at least among the races and peoples of Christendom. From which
it should follow, that since there is, and has from the beginning been, no differential advantage favoring one
racial stock or one fashion of hybrid as against another, in this matter of patriotic animus, there should also be
no ground of selective survival or selective elimination on this account as between these several races and
peoples. So that the undisturbed and undiminished prevalence of this trait among the European population,
early or late, argues nothing as to its net serviceability or disserviceability under any of the varying conditions
of culture and technology to which these Europeans have been subjected, first and last; except that it has, in
any case, not proved so disserviceable under the conditions prevailing hitherto as to result in the extinction of
these Europeans, one with another.[4]

The patriotic frame of mind has been spoken of above as if it were an hereditary trait, something after the
fashion of a Mendelian unit character. Doubtless this is not a competent account of the matter; but the present
argument scarcely needs a closer analysis. Still, in a measure to quiet title and avoid annoyance, it may be
noted that this patriotic animus is of the nature of a "frame of mind" rather than a Mendelian unit
character;[Pg 46] that it so involves a concatenation of several impulsive propensities (presumably
hereditary); and that both the concatenation and the special mode and amplitude of the response are a product
of habituation, very largely of the nature of conventionalised use and wont. What is said above, therefore,
goes little farther than saying that the underlying aptitudes requisite to this patriotic frame of mind are
heritable, and that use and wont as bearing on this point run with sufficient uniformity to bring a passably
uniform result. It may be added that in this concatenation spoken of there seems to be comprised, ordinarily,
that sentimental attachment to habitat and custom that is called love of home, or in its accentuated expression,
home-sickness; so also an invidious self-complacency, coupled with a gregarious bent which gives the
invidious comparison a group content; and further, commonly if not invariably, a bent of abnegation,

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self-abasement, subservience, or whatever it may best be called, that inclines the bearer unreasoningly and
unquestioningly to accept and serve a prescriptive ideal given by custom or by customary authority.

The conclusion would therefore provisionally run to the effect that under modern conditions the patriotic
animus is wholly a disserviceable trait in the spiritual endowment of these peoples,—in so far as bears
on the material conditions of life unequivocally, and as regards the cultural interests more at large
presumptively; whereas there is no assured ground for a discriminating opinion as touches its possible utility
or disutility at any remote period in the past. There is, of course, always room for the conservative estimate
that, as the possession of this spiritual trait has not hitherto resulted in the extinc[Pg 47]tion of the race, so it
may also in the calculable future continue to bring no more grievous results than a degree of mischief, without
even stopping or greatly retarding the increase of population.

All this, of course, is intended to apply only so far as it goes. It must not be taken as intending to say any least
word in derogation of those high qualities that inspire the patriotic citizen. In its economic, biological and
cultural incidence patriotism appears to be an untoward trait of human nature; which has, of course, nothing to
say as to its moral excellence, its aesthetic value, or its indispensability to a worthy life. No doubt, it is in all
these respects deserving of all the esteem and encomiums that fall to its share. Indeed, its well-known moral
and aesthetic value, as well as the reprobation that is visited on any shortcomings in this respect, signify, for
the purposes of the present argument, nothing more than that the patriotic animus meets the unqualified
approval of men because they are, all and several, infected with it. It is evidence of the ubiquitous, intimate
and ineradicable presence of this quality in human nature; all the more since it continues untiringly to be held
in the highest esteem in spite of the fact that a modicum of reflection should make its disserviceability plain to
the meanest understanding. No higher praise of moral excellence, and no profounder test of loyalty, can be
asked than this current unreserved commendation of a virtue that makes invariably for damage and
discomfort. The virtuous impulse must be deep-seated and indefeasible that drives men incontinently to do
good that evil may come of it. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."[Pg 48]

In the light—and it is a dim and wavering light—of the archaeological evidence, helped out by
circumstantial evidence from such parallel or analogous instances as are afforded by existing communities on
a comparable level of culture, one may venture more or less confidently on a reconstruction of the manner of
life among the early Europeans, of early neolithic times and later.[5] And so one may form some conception
of the part played by this patriotic animus among those beginnings, when, if not the race, at least its
institutions were young; and when the native temperament of these peoples was tried out and found fit to
survive through the age-long and slow-moving eras of stone and bronze. In this connection, it appears safe to
assume that since early neolithic times no sensible change has taken effect in the racial complexion of the
European peoples; and therefore no sensible change in their spiritual and mental make-up. So that in respect
of the spiritual elements that go to make up this patriotic animus the Europeans of today will be substantially
identical with the Europeans of that early time. The like is true as regards those other traits of temperament
that come in question here, as being included among the stable characteristics that still condition the life of
these peoples under the altered circumstances of the modern age.

The difference between prehistoric Europe and the present state of these peoples resolves itself on analysis
into a difference in the state of the industrial arts, together with such institutional changes as have come on in
the course of working out this advance in the industrial arts. The habits and the exigencies of life among these
peoples have greatly changed; whereas in temper[Pg 49]ament and capacities the peoples that now live by and
under the rule of this altered state of the industrial arts are the same as they were. It is to be noted, therefore,
that the fact of their having successfully come through the long ages of prehistory by the use of this mental
and spiritual endowment can not be taken to argue that these peoples are thereby fit to meet the exigencies of
this later and gravely altered age; nor will it do to assume that because these peoples have themselves worked
out this modern culture and its technology, therefore it must all be suitable for their use and conducive to their
biological success. The single object lesson of the modern urban community, with its endless requirements in

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the way of sanitation, police, compulsory education, charities,—all this and many other discrepancies
in modern life should enjoin caution on anyone who is inclined off-hand to hold that because modern men
have created these conditions, therefore these must be the most suitable conditions of life for modern

In the beginning, that is to say in the European beginning, men lived in small and close groups. Control was
close within the group, and the necessity of subordinating individual gains and preferences to the common
good was enjoined on the group by the exigencies of the case, on pain of common extinction. The situation
and usages of existing Eskimo villages may serve to illustrate and enforce the argument on this head. The
solidarity of sentiment necessary to support the requisite solidarity of action in the case would be a prime
condition of survival in any racial stock exposed to the conditions which surrounded these early Europeans.
This needful sense of solidarity would touch not simply or most imperatively the joint prestige of the group,
but rather the joint ma[Pg 50]terial interests; and would enforce a spirit of mutual support and dependence.
Which would be rather helped than hindered by a jealous attitude of joint prestige; so long as no divergent
interests of members within the group were in a position to turn this state of the common sentiment to their
own particular advantage.

This state of the case will have lasted for a relatively long time; long enough to have tested the fitness of these
peoples for that manner of life,—longer, no doubt, than the interval that has elapsed since history
began. Special interests—e.g., personal and family interests—will have been present and active
in these days of the beginning; but so long as the group at large was small enough to admit of a close
neighborly contact throughout its extent and throughout the workday routine of life, at the same time that it
was too small and feeble to allow any appreciable dissipation of its joint energies in such pursuit of selfish
gains as would run counter to the paramount business of the common livelihood, so long the sense of a
common livelihood and a joint fortune would continue to hold any particularist ambitions effectually in check.
Had it fallen out otherwise, the story of the group in question would have been ended, and another and more
suitably endowed type of men would have taken the place vacated by its extinction.

With a sensible advance in the industrial arts the scale of operations would grow larger, and the group more
numerous and extensive. The margin between production and subsistence would also widen and admit
additional scope for individual ambitions and personal gains. And as this process of growth and increasing
productive efficiency went on, the control exercised by neighborly surveillance, through the sentiment of the
common good[Pg 51] as against the self-seeking pursuits of individuals and sub-groups, would gradually
slacken; until by progressive disuse it would fall into a degree of abeyance; to be called into exercise and
incite to concerted action only in the face of unusual exigencies touching the common fortunes of the group at
large, or on persuasion that the collective interest of the group at large was placed in jeopardy in the
molestation of one and another of its members from without. The group's prestige at least would be felt to
suffer in the defeat or discourtesy suffered by any of its members at the hands of any alien; and, under
compulsion of the ancient sense of group solidarity, whatever material hardship or material gain might so fall
to individual members in their dealings with the alien would pass easy scrutiny as material detriment or gain
inuring to the group at large,—in the apprehension of men whose sense of community interest is
inflamed with a jealous disposition to safeguard their joint prestige.

With continued advance in the industrial arts the circumstances conditioning life will undergo a progressive
change of such a character that the joint interest of the group at large, in the material respect, will
progressively be less closely bound up with the material fortunes of any particular member or members; until
in the course of time and change there will, in effect, in ordinary times be no general and inclusive community
of material interest binding the members together in a common fortune and working for a common livelihood.
As the rights of ownership begin to take effect, so that the ownership of property and the pursuit of a
livelihood under the rules of ownership come to govern men's economic relations, these material concerns
will cease to be a matter of undivided joint interest, and will fall into the shape of interest in[Pg 52] severalty.

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So soon and so far as this institution of ownership or property takes effect, men's material interests cease to
run on lines of group solidarity. Solely, or almost solely, in the exceptional case of defense against a predatory
incursion from outside, do the members of the group have a common interest of a material kind. Progressively
as the state of the arts advances, the industrial organisation advances to a larger scale and a more extensive
specialisation, with increasing divergence among individual interests and individual fortunes; and intercourse
over larger distances grows easier and makes a larger grouping practicable; which enables a larger, prompter
and more effective mobilisation of forces with which to defend or assert any joint claims. But by the same
move it also follows, or at least it appears uniformly to have followed in the European case, that the
accumulation of property and the rights of ownership have progressively come into the first place among the
material interests of these peoples; while anything like a community of usufruct has imperceptibly fallen into
the background, and has presently gone virtually into abeyance, except as an eventual recourse in extremis for
the common defense. Property rights have displaced community of usufruct; and invidious distinctions as
between persons, sub-groups, and classes have displaced community of prestige in the workday routine of
these peoples; and the distinctions between contrasted persons or classes have come to rest, in an ever
increasing degree, directly or indirectly, on invidious comparisons in respect of pecuniary standing rather than
on personal affiliation with the group at large.

So, with the advance of the industrial arts a differentiation of a new character sets in and presently grows
pro[Pg 53]gressively more pronounced and more effectual, giving rise to a regrouping on lines that run
regardless of those frontiers that divide one community from another for purposes of patriotic emulation. So
far as it comes chiefly and typically in question here, this regrouping takes place on two distinct but somewhat
related principles of contrast: that of wealth and poverty, and that of master and servant, or authority and
obedience. The material interests of the population in this way come to be divided between the group of those
who own and those who command, on the one hand, and of those who work and who obey, on the other hand.

Neither of these two contrasted categories of persons have any direct material interest in the maintenance of
the patriotic community; or at any rate no such interest as should reasonably induce them to spend their own
time and substance in support of the political (patriotic) organisation within which they live. It is only in so far
as one or another of these interests looks for a more than proportionate share in any prospective gain from the
joint enterprise, that the group or class in question can reasonably be counted on to bear its share in the joint
venture. And it is only when and in so far as their particular material or self-regarding interest is reenforced by
patriotic conceit, that they can be counted on to spend themselves in furtherance of the patriotic enterprise,
without the assurance of a more than proportionate share in any gains that may be held in prospect from any
such joint enterprise; and it is only in its patriotic bearing that the political community continues to be a joint
venture. That is to say, in more generalised terms, through the development of the rights of property, and of
such like prescriptive claims of privilege and prerogative, it[Pg 54] has come about that other community
interests have fallen away, until the collective prestige remains as virtually the sole community interest which
can hold the sentiment of the group in a bond of solidarity.

To one or another of these several interested groups or classes within the community the political organisation
may work a benefit; but only to one or another, not to each and several, jointly or collectively. Since by no
chance will the benefit derived from such joint enterprise on the part of the community at large equal the joint
cost; in as much as all joint enterprise of the kind that looks to material advantage works by one or another
method of inhibition and takes effect, if at all, by lowering the aggregate efficiency of the several countries
concerned, with a view to the differential gain of one at the cost of another. So, e.g., a protective tariff is
plainly a conspiracy in restraint of trade, with a view to benefit the conspirators by hindering their
competitors. The aggregate cost to the community at large of such an enterprise in retardation is always more
than the gains it brings to those who may benefit by it.

In so speaking of the uses to which the common man's patriotic devotion may be turned, there is no intention
to underrate its intrinsic value as a genial and generous trait of human nature. Doubtless it is best and chiefly

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to be appreciated as a spiritual quality that beautifies and ennobles its bearer, and that endows him with the
full stature of manhood, quite irrespective of ulterior considerations. So it is to be conceded without argument
that this patriotic animus is a highly meritorious frame of mind, and that it has an aesthetic value scarcely to
be overstated in the farthest stretch of poetic license. But the question of its serviceability to the modern
commu[Pg 55]nity, in any other than this decorative respect, and particularly its serviceability to the current
needs of the common man in such a modern community, is not touched by such an admission; nor does this
recognition of its generous spiritual nature afford any help toward answering a further question as to how and
with what effect this animus may be turned to account by anyone who is in position to make use of the forces
which it sets free.

Among Christian nations there still is, on the whole, a decided predilection for that ancient and authentic line
of national repute that springs from warlike prowess. This repute for warlike prowess is what first comes to
mind among civilised peoples when speaking of national greatness. And among those who have best
preserved this warlike ideal of worth, the patriotic ambition is likely to converge on the prestige of their
sovereign; so that it takes the concrete form of personal loyalty to a master, and so combines or coalesces with
a servile habit of mind.

But peace hath its victories no less renowned than war, it is said; and peaceable folk of a patriotic temper have
learned to make the best of their meager case and have found self-complacency in these victories of the
peaceable order. So it may broadly be affirmed that all nations look with complacency on their own peculiar
Culture—the organised complex of habits of thought and of conduct by which their own routine of life
is regulated—as being in some way worthier than the corresponding habits of their neighbors. The case
of the German Culture has latterly come under a strong light in this way. But while it may be that no other
nation has been so naive as to make a concerted profession of faith to the effect that their own particular way
of life is altogether commendable and is the only fashion of civilisation that is[Pg 56] fit to survive; yet it will
scarcely be an extravagance to assert that in their own secret mind these others, too, are blest with much the
same consciousness of unique worth. Conscious virtue of this kind is a good and sufficient ground for
patriotic inflation, so far as it goes. It commonly does not go beyond a defensive attitude, however. Now and
again, as in the latterday German animation on this head, these phenomena of national use and wont may
come to command such a degree of popular admiration as will incite to an aggressive or proselyting

In all this there is nothing of a self-seeking or covetous kind. The common man who so lends himself to the
aggressive enhancement of the national Culture and its prestige has nothing of a material kind to gain from the
increase of renown that so comes to his sovereign, his language, his countrymen's art or science, his dietary,
or his God. There are no sordid motives in all this. These spiritual assets of self-complacency are, indeed, to
be rated as grounds of high-minded patriotism without afterthought. These aspirations and enthusiasms would
perhaps be rated as Quixotic by men whose horizon is bounded by the main chance; but they make up that
substance of things hoped for that inflates those headlong patriotic animosities that stir universal admiration.

So also, men find an invidious distinction in such matters of physical magnitude as their country's area, the
number of its population, the size of its cities, the extent of its natural resources, its aggregate wealth and its
wealth per capita, its merchant marine and its foreign trade. As a ground of invidious complacency these
phenomena of physical magnitude and pecuniary traffic are no better and no worse than such immaterial
assets as the majesty of the sovereign or the perfections of the[Pg 57] language. They are matters in which the
common man is concerned only by the accident of domicile, and his only connection with these things is an
imaginary joint interest in their impressiveness. To these things he has contributed substantially nothing, and
from them he derives no other merit or advantage than a patriotic inflation. He takes pride in these things in an
invidious way, and there is no good reason why he should not; just as there is also no good reason why he
should, apart from the fact that the common man is so constituted that he, mysteriously, takes pride in these
things that concern him not.

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Of the several groups or classes of persons within the political frontiers, whose particular interests run
systematically at cross purposes with those of the community at large under modern conditions, the class of
masters, rulers, authorities,—or whatever term may seem most suitable to designate that category of
persons whose characteristic occupation is to give orders and command deference,—of the several
orders and conditions of men these are, in point of substantial motive and interest, most patently at variance
with all the rest, or with the fortunes of the common man. The class will include civil and military authorities
and whatever nobility there is of a prescriptive and privileged kind. The substantial interest of these classes in
the common welfare is of the same kind as the interest which a parasite has in the well-being of his host; a
sufficiently substantial interest, no doubt, but there is in this relation nothing like a community of interest.
Any gain on the part of the community at large will materially serve the needs of this group of personages,
only in so far as it may afford them a larger volume or a wider scope for what has in latterday col[Pg
58]loquial phrase been called "graft." These personages are, of course, not to be spoken of with disrespect or
with the slightest inflection of discourtesy. They are all honorable men. Indeed they afford the conventional
pattern of human dignity and meritorious achievement, and the "Fountain of Honor" is found among them.
The point of the argument is only that their material or other self-regarding interests are of such a nature as to
be furthered by the material wealth of the community, and more particularly by the increasing volume of the
body politic; but only with the proviso that this material wealth and this increment of power must accrue
without anything like a corresponding cost to this class. At the same time, since this class of the superiors is in
some degree a specialised organ of prestige, so that their value, and therefore their tenure, both in the eyes of
the community and in their own eyes, is in the main a "prestige value" and a tenure by prestige; and since the
prestige that invests their persons is a shadow cast by the putative worth of the community at large, it follows
that their particular interest in the joint prestige is peculiarly alert and insistent. But it follows also that these
personages cannot of their own substance or of their own motion contribute to this collective prestige in the
same proportion in which it is necessary for them to draw on it in support of their own prestige value. It
would, in other words, be a patent absurdity to call on any of the current ruling classes, dynasties, nobility,
military and diplomatic corps, in any of the nations of Europe, e.g., to preserve their current dignity and
command the deference that is currently accorded them, by recourse to their own powers and expenditure of
their own substance, without the usufruct of the commonalty whose organ of dignity[Pg 59] they are. The
current prestige value which they enjoy is beyond their unaided powers to create or maintain, without the
usufruct of the community. Such an enterprise does not lie within the premises of the case.

In this bearing, therefore, the first concern with which these personages are necessarily occupied is the
procurement and retention of a suitable usufruct in the material resources and good-will of a sufficiently large
and industrious population. The requisite good-will in these premises is called loyalty, and its retention by the
line of personages that so trade on prestige rests on a superinduced association of ideas, whereby the national
honour comes to be confounded in popular apprehension with the prestige of these personages who have the
keeping of it. But the potentates and the establishments, civil and military, on whom this prestige value rests
will unavoidably come into invidious comparison with others of their kind; and, as invariably happens in
matters of invidious comparison, the emulative needs of all the competitors for prestige are "indefinitely
extensible," as the phrase of the economists has it. Each and several of them incontinently needs a further
increment of prestige, and therefore also a further increment of the material assets in men and resources that
are needful as ways and means to assert and augment the national honor.

It is true, the notion that their prestige value is in any degree conditioned by the material circumstances and
the popular imagination of the underlying nation is distasteful to many of these vicars of the national honour.
They will incline rather to the persuasion that this prestige value is a distinctive attribute, of a unique order,
intrinsic to their own persons. But, plainly, any such detached line of magnates, notables, kings and
mandarins,[Pg 60] resting their notability on nothing more substantial than a slightly sub-normal intelligence
and a moderately scrofulous habit of body could not long continue to command that eager deference that is
accounted their due. Such a picture of majesty would be sadly out of drawing. There is little conviction and no

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great dignity to be drawn from the unaided pronouncement:

"We're here because,

We're here because,
We're here because
We're here,"

even when the doggerel is duly given the rhetorical benefit of a "Tenure by the Grace of God." The
personages that carry this dignity require the backing of a determined and patriotic populace in support of
their prestige value, and they commonly have no great difficulty in procuring it. And their prestige value is, in
effect, proportioned to the volume of material resources and patriotic credulity that can be drawn on for its
assertion. It is true, their draught on the requisite sentimental and pecuniary support is fortified with large
claims of serviceability to the common good, and these claims are somewhat easily, indeed eagerly, conceded
and acted upon; although the alleged benefit to the common good will scarcely be visible except in the light of
glory shed by the blazing torch of patriotism.

In so far as it is of a material nature the benefit which the constituted authorities so engage to contribute to the
common good, or in other words to confer on the common man, falls under two heads: defense against
aggression from without; and promotion of the community's material gain. It is to be presumed that the
constituted[Pg 61] authorities commonly believe more or less implicitly in their own professions in so
professing to serve the needs of the common man in these respects. The common defense is a sufficiently
grave matter, and doubtless it claims the best affections and endeavour of the citizen; but it is not a matter that
should claim much attention at this point in the argument, as bearing on the service rendered the common man
by the constituted authorities, taken one with another. Any given governmental establishment at home is
useful in this respect only as against another governmental establishment elsewhere. So that on the slightest
examination it resolves itself into a matter of competitive patriotic enterprise, as between the patriotic
aspirations of different nationalities led by different governmental establishments; and the service so rendered
by the constituted authorities in the aggregate takes on the character of a remedy for evils of their own
creation. It is invariably a defense against the concerted aggressions of other patriots. Taken in the large, the
common defense of any given nation becomes a detail of the competitive struggle between rival nationalities
animated with a common spirit of patriotic enterprise and led by authorities constituted for this competitive

Except on a broad basis of patriotic devotion, and except under the direction of an ambitious governmental
establishment, no serious international aggression is to be had. The common defense, therefore, is to be taken
as a remedy for evils arising out of the working of the patriotic spirit that animates mankind, as brought to
bear under a discretionary authority; and in any balance to be struck between the utility and disutility of this
patriotic spirit and of its service in the hands of the constituted authorities, it will have to be cancelled out as
being at[Pg 62] the best a mitigation of some of the disorders brought on by the presence of national
governments resting on patriotic loyalty at large.

But this common defense is by no means a vacant rubric in any attempted account of modern national
enterprise. It is the commonplace and conclusive plea of the dynastic statesmen and the aspiring warlords, and
it is the usual blind behind which events are put in train for eventual hostilities. Preparation for the common
defense also appears unfailingly to eventuate in hostilities. With more or less bona fides the statesmen and
warriors plead the cause of the common defense, and with patriotic alacrity the common man lends himself to
the enterprise aimed at under that cover. In proportion as the resulting equipment for defense grows great and
becomes formidable, the range of items which a patriotically biased nation are ready to include among the
claims to be defended grows incontinently larger, until by the overlapping of defensive claims between rival
nationalities the distinction between defense and aggression disappears, except in the biased fancy of the rival

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Of course, no reflections are called for here on the current American campaign of "Preparedness." Except for
the degree of hysteria it appears to differ in no substantial respect from the analogous course of
auto-intoxication among the nationalities of Europe, which came to a head in the current European situation. It
should conclusively serve the turn for any self-possessed observer to call to mind that all the civilised nations
of warring Europe are, each and several, convinced that they are fighting a defensive war.

The aspiration of all right-minded citizens is presumed to be "Peace with Honour." So that first, as well as
last,[Pg 63] among those national interests that are to be defended, and in the service of which the substance
and affections of the common man are enlisted under the aegis of the national prowess, comes the national
prestige, as a matter of course. And the constituted authorities are doubtless sincere and single-minded in their
endeavors to advance and defend the national honour, particularly those constituted authorities that hold their
place of authority on grounds of fealty; since the national prestige in such a case coalesces with the prestige of
the nation's ruler in much the same degree in which the national sovereignty devolves upon the person of its
ruler. In so defending or advancing the national prestige, such a dynastic or autocratic overlord, together with
the other privileged elements assisting and dependent on him, is occupied with his own interest; his own
tenure is a tenure by prestige, and the security of his tenure lies in the continued maintenance of that popular
fancy that invests his person with this national prestige and so constitutes him and his retinue of notables and
personages its keeper.

But it is uniformly insisted by the statesmen—potentates, notables, kings and mandarins—that

this aegis of the national prowess in their hands covers also many interests of a more substantial and more
tangible kind. These other, more tangible interests of the community have also a value of a direct and personal
sort to the dynasty and its hierarchy of privileged subalterns, in that it is only by use of the material forces of
the nation that the dynastic prestige can be advanced and maintained. The interest of such constituted
authorities in the material welfare of the nation is consequently grave and insistent; but it is evidently an
interest of a special kind and is subject to strict and peculiar limitations. The common good,[Pg 64] in the
material respect, interests the dynastic statesman only as a means to dynastic ends; that is to say, only in so far
as it can be turned to account in the achievement of dynastic aims. These aims are "The Kingdom, the Power
and the Glory," as the sacred formula phrases the same conception in another bearing.

That is to say, the material welfare of the nation is a means to the unfolding of the dynastic power; provided
always that this material welfare is not allowed to run into such ramifications as will make the commonwealth
an unwieldy instrument in the hands of the dynastic statesmen. National welfare is to the purpose only in so
far as it conduces to political success, which is always a question of warlike success in the last resort. The
limitation which this consideration imposes on the government's economic policy are such as will make the
nation a self-sufficient or self-balanced economic commonwealth. It must be a self-balanced commonwealth
at least in such measure as will make it self-sustaining in case of need, in all those matters that bear directly on
warlike efficiency.

Of course, no community can become fully self-sustaining under modern conditions, by use of the modern
state of the industrial arts, except by recourse to such drastic measures of repression as would reduce its total
efficiency in an altogether intolerable degree. This will hold true even of those nations who, like Russia or the
United States, are possessed of extremely extensive territories and extremely large and varied resources; but it
applies with greatly accentuated force to smaller and more scantily furnished territorial units. Peoples living
under modern conditions and by use of the modern state of the industrial arts necessarily draw on all quarters
of the habitable globe for materials and products which they can pro[Pg 65]cure to the best advantage from
outside their own special field so long as they are allowed access to these outlying sources of supply; and any
arbitrary limitation on this freedom of traffic makes the conditions of life that much harder, and lowers the
aggregate efficiency of the community by that much. National self-sufficiency is to be achieved only by a
degree of economic isolation; and such a policy of economic isolation involves a degree of impoverishment
and lowered efficiency, but it will also leave the nation readier for warlike enterprise on such a scale as its

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reduced efficiency will compass.

So that the best that can be accomplished along this line by the dynastic statesmen is a shrewd compromise,
embodying such a degree of isolation and inhibition as will leave the country passably self-sufficient in case
of need, without lowering the national efficiency to such a point as to cripple its productive forces beyond
what will be offset by the greater warlike readiness that is so attained. The point to which such a policy of
isolation and sufficiency will necessarily be directed is that measure of inhibition that will yield the most
facile and effective ways and means of warlike enterprise, the largest product of warlike effectiveness to be
had on multiplying the nation's net efficiency into its readiness to take the field.

Into any consideration of this tactical problem a certain subsidiary factor enters, in that the patriotic temper of
the nation is always more or less affected by such an economic policy. The greater the degree of effectual
isolation and discrimination embodied in the national policy, the greater will commonly be its effect on
popular sentiment in the way of national animosity and spiritual self-sufficiency; which may be an asset of
great value for the purposes of warlike enterprise.[Pg 66]

Plainly, any dynastic statesman who should undertake to further the common welfare regardless of its
serviceability for warlike enterprise would be defeating his own purpose. He would, in effect, go near to living
up to his habitual professions touching international peace, instead of professing to live up to them, as the
exigencies of his national enterprise now conventionally require him to do. In effect, he would be functus

There are two great administrative instruments available for this work of repression and national
self-sufficiency at the hands of the imperialistic statesman: the protective tariff, and commercial subvention.
The two are not consistently to be distinguished from one another at all points, and each runs out into a
multifarious convolution of variegated details; but the principles involved are, after all, fairly neat and
consistent. The former is of the nature of a conspiracy in restraint of trade by repression; the latter, a
conspiracy to the like effect by subsidised monopoly; both alike act to check the pursuit of industry in given
lines by artificially increasing the cost of production for given individuals or classes of producers, and both
alike impose a more than proportionate cost on the community within which they take effect. Incidentally,
both of these methods of inhibition bring a degree, though a less degree, of hardship, to the rest of the
industrial world.

All this is matter of course to all economic students, and it should, reasonably, be plain to all intelligent
persons; but its voluble denial by interested parties, as well as the easy credulity with which patriotic citizens
allow themselves to accept the sophistries offered in defense of these measures of inhibition, has made it seem
worth while here to recall these commonplaces of economic science.[Pg 67]

The ground of this easy credulity is not so much infirmity of intellect as it is an exuberance of sentiment,
although it may reasonably be believed that its more pronounced manifestations—as, e.g., the high
protective tariff—can be had only by force of a formidable cooperation of the two. The patriotic animus
is an invidious sentiment of joint prestige; and it needs no argument or documentation to bear out the
affirmation that its bias will lend a color of merit and expediency to any proposed measure that can, however
speciously, promise an increase of national power or prestige. So that when the statesmen propose a policy of
inhibition and mitigated isolation on the professed ground that such a policy will strengthen the nation
economically by making it economically self-supporting, as well as ready for any warlike adventure, the
patriotic citizen views the proposed measures through the rosy haze of national aspirations and lets the will to
believe persuade him that whatever conduces to a formidable national battle-front will also contribute to the
common good. At the same time all these national conspiracies in restraint of trade are claimed, with more or
less reason, to inflict more or less harm on rival nationalities with whom economic relations are curtailed; and
patriotism being an invidious sentiment, the patriotic citizen finds comfort in the promise of mischief to these

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others, and is all the more prone to find all kinds of merit in proposals that look to such an invidious outcome.
In any community imbued with an alert patriotic spirit, the fact that any given circumstance, occurrence or
transaction can be turned to account as a means of invidious distinction or invidious discrimination against
humanity beyond the national pale, will always go far to procure acceptance of it as being also an article[Pg
68] of substantial profit to the community at large, even though the slightest unbiased scrutiny would find it of
no ascertainable use in any other bearing than that of invidious mischief. And whatever will bear
interpretation as an increment of the nation's power or prowess, in comparison with rival nationalities, will
always be securely counted as an item of joint credit, and will be made to serve the collective conceit as an
invidious distinction; and patriotic credulity will find it meritorious also in other respects.

So, e.g., it is past conception that such a patent imbecility as a protective tariff should enlist the support of any
ordinarily intelligent community except by the help of some such chauvinistic sophistry. So also, the various
royal establishments of Europe, e.g., afford an extreme but therefore all the more convincing illustration of the
same logical fallacy. These establishments and personages are great and authentic repositories of national
prestige, and they are therefore unreflectingly presumed by their several aggregations of subjects to be of
some substantial use also in some other bearing; but it would be a highly diverting exhibition of credulity for
any outsider to fall into that amazing misconception. But the like is manifestly true of commercial turnover
and export trade among modern peoples; although on this head the infatuation is so ingrained and dogmatic
that even a rank outsider is expected to accept the fallacy without reflection, on pain of being rated as unsafe
or unsound. Such matters again, as the dimensions of the national territory, or the number of the population
and the magnitude of the national resources, are still and have perhaps always been material for patriotic
exultation, and are fatuously believed to have some great significance for the material for[Pg 69]tunes of the
common man; although it should be plain on slight reflection that under modern conditions of ownership,
these things, one and all, are of no consequence to the common man except as articles of prestige to stimulate
his civic pride. The only conjuncture under which these and the like national holdings can come to have a
meaning as joint or collective assets would arise in case of a warlike adventure carried to such extremities as
would summarily cancel vested rights of ownership and turn them to warlike uses. While the rights of
ownership hold, the common man, who does not own these things, draws no profit from their inclusion in the
national domain; indeed, he is at some cost to guarantee their safe tenure by their rightful owners.

In so pursuing their quest of the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, by use of the national resources and by
sanction of the national spirit, the constituted authorities also assume the guardianship of sundry material
interests that are presumed to touch the common good; such as security of person and property in dealings
with aliens, whether at home or abroad; security of investment and trade, and vindication of their citizens
before the law in foreign parts; and, chiefly and ubiquitously, furtherance and extension of the national trade
into foreign parts, particularly of the export trade, on terms advantageous to the traders of the nation.

The last named of these advantages is the one on which stress is apt to fall in the argument of all those who
advocate an unfolding of national power, as being a matter of vital material benefit to the common man. The
other items indicated above, it is plain on the least reflection, are matters of slight if any material consequence
to him. The common man—that is ninety-nine and a[Pg 70] fraction in one hundred of the nation's
common men—has no dealings with aliens in foreign parts, as capitalist, trader, missionary or
wayfaring man, and has no occasion for security of person or property under circumstances that raise any
remotest question of the national prowess or the national prestige; nor does he seek or aspire to trade to
foreign parts on any terms, equitable or otherwise, or to invest capital among aliens under foreign rule, or to
exploit concessions or take orders, for acceptance or delivery; nor, indeed, does he at all commonly come into
even that degree of contact with abroad that is implied in the purchase of foreign securities. Virtually the sole
occasion on which he comes in touch with the world beyond the frontier is when, and if, he goes away from
home as an emigrant, and so ceases to enjoy the tutelage of the nation's constituted authorities. But the
common man, in point of fact, is a home-keeping body, who touches foreign parts and aliens outside the
national frontiers only at the second or third remove, if at all, in the occasional purchase of foreign products,

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or in the sale of goods that may find their way abroad after he has lost sight of them. The exception to this
general rule would be found in the case of those under-sized nations that are too small to contain the traffic in
which their commonplace population are engaged, and that have neither national prowess nor national
prestige to fall back on in a conceivable case of need,—and whose citizens, individually, appear to be
as fortunately placed in their workday foreign relations, without a background of prowess and prestige, as the
citizens of the great powers who are most abundantly provided in these respects.

With wholly negligible exceptions, these matters touch the needs or the sensibilities of the common man
only[Pg 71] through the channel of the national honour, which may be injured in the hardships suffered by his
compatriots in foreign parts, or which may, again, be repaired or enhanced by the meritorious achievements of
the same compatriots; of whose existence he will commonly have no other or more substantial evidence, and
in whose traffic he has no share other than this vicarious suffering of vague and remote indignity or vainglory
by force of the wholly fortuitous circumstance that they are (inscrutably) his compatriots. These immaterial
goods of vicarious prestige are, of course, not to be undervalued, nor is the fact to be overlooked or minimised
that they enter into the sum total of the common citizen's "psychic income," for whatever they may foot up to;
but evidently their consideration takes us back to the immaterial category of prestige value, from which the
argument just now was hopefully departing with a view to consideration of the common man's material
interest in that national enterprise about which patriotic aspirations turn.

These things, then, are matters in which the common man has an interest only as they have a prestige value.
But there need be no question as to their touching his sensibilities and stirring him to action, and even to acts
of bravery and self-sacrifice. Indignity or ill treatment of his compatriots in foreign parts, even when well
deserved, as is not infrequently the case, are resented with a vehemence that is greatly to the common man's
credit, and greatly also to the gain of those patriotic statesmen who find in such grievances their safest and
most reliable raw materials for the production of international difficulty. That he will so respond to the
stimulus of these, materially speaking irrelevant, vicissitudes of good or ill that touch the fortunes of his
compatriots, as known to[Pg 72] him by hearsay, bears witness, of course, to the high quality of his manhood;
but it falls very far short of arguing that these promptings of his patriotic spirit have any value as traits that
count toward his livelihood or his economic serviceability in the community in which he lives. It is all to his
credit, and it goes to constitute him a desirable citizen, in the sense that he is properly amenable to the
incitements of patriotic emulation; but it is none the less to be admitted, however reluctantly, that this trait of
impulsively vicarious indignation or vainglory is neither materially profitable to himself nor an asset of the
slightest economic value to the community in which he lives. Quite the contrary, in fact. So also is it true that
the common man derives no material advantage from the national success along this line, though he
commonly believes that it all somehow inures to his benefit. It would seem that an ingrown bias of
community interest, blurred and driven by a jealously sensitive patriotic pride, bends his faith uncritically to
match his inclination. His persuasion is a work of preconception rather than of perception.

But the most substantial and most unqualified material benefit currently believed to be derivable from a large
unfolding of national prowess and a wide extension of the national domain is an increased volume of the
nation's foreign trade, particularly of the export trade. "Trade follows the Flag." And this larger trade and
enhanced profit is presumed to inure to the joint benefit of the citizens. Such is the profession of faith of the
sagacious statesmen and such is also the unreflecting belief of the common man.

It may be left an open question if an unfolding of national prowess and prestige increases the nation's
trade,[Pg 73] whether in imports or in exports. There is no available evidence that it has any effect of the kind.
What is not an open question is the patent fact that such an extension of trade confers no benefit on the
common man, who is not engaged in the import or export business. More particularly does it yield him no
advantage at all commensurate with the cost involved in any endeavour so to increase the volume of trade by
increasing the nation's power and extending its dominion. The profits of trade go not to the common man at
large but to the traders whose capital is invested; and it is a completely idle matter to the common citizen

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whether the traders who profit by the nation's trade are his compatriots or not.[6]

The pacifist argument on the economic futility of national ambitions will commonly rest its case at this point;
having shown as unreservedly as need be that national ambition and all its works belong of right under that
rubric of the litany that speaks of Fire, Flood and Pestilence. But an hereditary bent of human nature is not to
be put out of the way with an argument showing that it has its disutilities. So with the patriotic animus; it is a
factor to be counted with, rather than to be exorcised.

As has been remarked above, in the course of time and change the advance of the industrial arts and of the
institutions of ownership have taken such a turn that the working system of industry and business no longer
runs on national lines and, indeed, no longer takes account of national frontiers,—except in so far as
the[Pg 74] national policies and legislation, arbitrarily and partially, impose these frontiers on the workings of
trade and industry. The effect of such regulation for political ends is, with wholly negligible exceptions,
detrimental to the efficient working of the industrial system under modern conditions; and it is therefore
detrimental to the material interests of the common citizen. But the case is not the same as regards the
interests of the traders. Trade is a competitive affair, and it is to the advantage of the traders engaged in any
given line of business to extend their own markets and to exclude competing traders. Competition may be the
soul of trade, but monopoly is necessarily the aim of every trader. And the national organisation is of service
to its traders in so far as it shelters them, wholly or partly, from the competition of traders of other
nationalities, or in so far as it furthers their enterprise by subvention or similar privileges as against their
competitors, whether at home or abroad. The gain that so comes to the nation's traders from any preferential
advantage afforded them by national regulations, or from any discrimination against traders of foreign
nationality, goes to the traders as private gain. It is of no benefit to any of their compatriots; since there is no
community of usufruct that touches these gains of the traders. So far as concerns his material advantage, it is
an idle matter to the common citizen whether he deals with traders of his own nationality or with aliens; both
alike will aim to buy cheap and sell dear, and will charge him "what the traffic will bear." Nor does it matter
to him whether the gains of this trade go to aliens or to his compatriots; in either case equally they
immediately pass beyond his reach, and are equally removed from any touch of joint interest on his part.
Being[Pg 75] private property, under modern law and custom he has no use of them, whether a national
frontier does or does not intervene between his domicile and that of their owner.

These are facts that every man of sound mind knows and acts on without doubt or hesitation in his own
workday affairs. He would scarcely even find amusement in so futile a proposal as that his neighbor should
share his business profits with him for no better reason than that he is a compatriot. But when the matter is
presented as a proposition in national policy and embroidered with an invocation of his patriotic loyalty the
common citizen will commonly be found credulous enough to accept the sophistry without abatement. His
archaic sense of group solidarity will still lead him at his own cost to favor his trading compatriots by the
imposition of onerous trade regulations for their private advantage, and to interpose obstacles in the way of
alien traders. All this ingenious policy of self-defeat is greatly helped out by the patriotic conceit of the
citizens; who persuade themselves to see in it an accession to the power and prestige of their own nation and a
disadvantage to rival nationalities. It is, indeed, more than doubtful if such a policy of self-defeat as is
embodied in current international trade discriminations could be insinuated into the legislation of any civilized
nation if the popular intelligence were not so clouded with patriotic animosity as to let a prospective detriment
to their foreign neighbors count as a gain to themselves.

So that the chief material use of the patriotic bent in modern populations, therefore, appears to be its use to a
limited class of persons engaged in foreign trade, or in business that comes in competition with foreign
industry. It serves their private gain by lending effectual counte[Pg 76]nance to such restraint of international
trade as would not be tolerated within the national domain. In so doing it has also the secondary and more
sinister effect of dividing the nations on lines of rivalry and setting up irreconcilable claims and ambitions, of
no material value but of far-reaching effect in the way of provocation to further international estrangement

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and eventual breach of the peace.

How all this falls in with the schemes of militant statesmen, and further reacts on the freedom and personal
fortunes of the common man, is an extensive and intricate topic, though not an obscure one; and it has already
been spoken of above, perhaps as fully as need be.[Pg 77]


On the Conditions of a Lasting Peace

The considerations set out in earlier chapters have made it appear that the patriotic spirit of modern peoples is
the abiding source of contention among nations. Except for their patriotism a breach of the peace among
modern peoples could not well be had. So much will doubtless be assented to as a matter of course. It is also a
commonplace of current aphoristic wisdom that both parties to a warlike adventure in modern times stand to
lose, materially; whatever nominal—that is to say political—gains may be made by one or the
other. It has also appeared from these considerations recited in earlier passages that this patriotic spirit
prevails throughout, among all civilised peoples, and that it pervades one nation about as ubiquitously as
another. Nor is there much evidence of a weakening of this sinister proclivity with the passage of time or the
continued advance in the arts of life. The only civilized nations that can be counted on as habitually peaceable
are those who are so feeble or are so placed as to be cut off from hope of gain through contention.
Vainglorious arrogance may run at a higher tension among the more backward and boorish nations; but it is
not evident that the advance guard among the civilised peoples are imbued with a less complete national
self-complacency. If the peace is to be kept, therefore, it will have to be kept by and between peoples made
up, in effect,[Pg 78] of complete patriots; which comes near being a contradiction in terms. Patriotism is
useful for breaking the peace, not for keeping it. It makes for national pretensions and international jealously
and distrust, with warlike enterprise always in perspective; as a way to national gain or a recourse in case of
need. And there is commonly no settled demarkation between these two contrasted needs that urge a patriotic
people forever to keep one eye on the chance of a recourse to arms.

Therefore any calculus of the Chances of Peace appears to become a reckoning of the forces which may be
counted on to keep a patriotic nation in an unstable equilibrium of peace for the time being. As has just been
remarked above, among civilised peoples only those nations can be counted on consistently to keep the peace
who are so feeble or otherwise so placed as to be cut off from hope of national gain. And these can apparently
be so counted on only as regards aggression, not as regards the national defense, and only in so far as they are
not drawn into warlike enterprise, collectively, by their more competent neighbors. Even the feeblest and most
futile of them feels in honour bound to take up arms in defense of such national pretensions as they still may
harbour; and all of them harbour such pretensions. In certain extreme cases, which it might seem invidious to
specify more explicitly, it is not easy to discover any specific reasons for the maintenance of a national
establishment, apart from the vindication of certain national pretensions which would quietly lapse in the
absence of a national establishment on whom their vindication is incumbent.

Of the rest, the greater nations that are spoken of as Powers no such general statement will hold. These are[Pg
79] the peoples who stand, in matters of national concern, on their own initiative; and the question of peace
and war at large is in effect, a question of peace and war among these Powers. They are not so numerous that
they can be sifted into distinct classes, and yet they differ among themselves in such a way that they may, for
the purpose in hand, fairly be ranged under two distinguishable if not contrasted heads: those which may
safely be counted on spontaneously to take the offensive, and those which will fight on provocation. Typically
of the former description are Germany and Japan. Of the latter are the French and British, and less confidently
the American republic. In any summary statement of this kind Russia will have to be left on one side as a
doubtful case, for reasons to which the argument may return at a later point; the prospective course of things

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in Russia is scarcely to be appraised on the ground of its past. Spain and Italy, being dubious Powers at the
best, need not detain the argument; they are, in the nature of things, subsidiaries who wait on the main chance.
And Austria, with whatever the name may cover, is for the immediate purpose to be counted under the head of

There is no invidious comparison intended in so setting off these two classes of nations in contrast to one
another. It is not a contrast of merit and demerit or of prestige. Imperial Germany and Imperial Japan are, in
the nature of things as things go, bent in effect on a disturbance of the peace,—with a view to advance
the cause of their own dominion. On a large view of the case, such as many German statesmen were in the
habit of professing in the years preceding the great war, it may perhaps appear reasonable to say—as
they were in the habit of saying—that these Imperial Powers are as well[Pg 80] within the lines of fair
and honest dealing in their campaign of aggression as the other Powers are in taking a defensive attitude
against their aggression. Some sort of international equity has been pleaded in justification of their demand for
an increased share of dominion. At least it has appeared that these Imperial statesmen have so persuaded
themselves after very mature deliberation; and they have showed great concern to persuade others of the
equity of their Imperial claim to something more than the law would allow. These sagacious, not to say astute,
persons have not only reached a conviction to this effect, but they have become possessed of this conviction in
such plenary fashion that, in the German case, they have come to admit exceptions or abatement of the claim
only when and in so far as the campaign of equitable aggression on which they had entered has been proved
impracticable by the fortunes of war.

With some gift for casuistry one may, at least conceivably, hold that the felt need of Imperial
self-aggrandisement may become so urgent as to justify, or at least to condone, forcible dispossession of
weaker nationalities. This might, indeed it has, become a sufficiently perplexing question of casuistry, both as
touches the punctilios of national honour and as regards an equitable division between rival Powers in respect
of the material means of mastery. So in private life it may become a moot question—in point of
equity—whether the craving of a kleptomaniac may not on occasion rise to such an intolerable pitch of
avidity as to justify him in seizing whatever valuables he can safely lay hands on, to ease the discomfort of
ungratified desire. In private life any such endeavour to better oneself at one's neighbors' cost is not
commonly reprobated if it takes effect on a decently large[Pg 81] scale and shrewdly within the flexibilities of
the law or with the connivance of its officers. Governing international endeavours of this class there is no law
so inflexible that it can not be conveniently made over to fit particular circumstances. And in the absence of
law the felt need of a formal justification will necessarily appeal to the unformulated equities of the case, with
some such outcome as alluded to above. All that, of course, is for the diplomatists to take care of.

But any speculation on the equities involved in the projected course of empire to which these two enterprising
nations are committing themselves must run within the lines of diplomatic parable, and will have none but a
speculative interest. It is not a matter of equity. Accepting the situation as it stands, it is evident that any peace
can only have a qualified meaning, in the sense of armistice, so long as there is opportunity for national
enterprise of the character on which these two enterprising national establishments are bent, and so long as
these and the like national establishments remain. So, taking the peaceable professions of their spokesmen at a
discount of one hundred percent, as one necessarily must, and looking to the circumstantial evidence of the
case, it is abundantly plain that at least these two imperial Powers may be counted on consistently to
manoeuvre for warlike advantage so long as any peace compact holds, and to break the peace so soon as the
strategy of Imperial enterprise appears to require it.

There has been much courteous make-believe of amiable and upright solicitude on this head the past few
years, both in diplomatic intercourse and among men out of doors; and since make-believe is a matter of
course in diplomatic intercourse it is right and seemly, of course,[Pg 82] that no overt recognition of
unavowed facts should be allowed to traverse this run of make-believe within the precincts of diplomatic
intercourse. But in any ingenuous inquiry into the nature of peace and the conditions of its maintenance there

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can be no harm in conveniently leaving the diplomatic make-believe on one side and looking to the
circumstances that condition the case, rather than to the formal professions designed to mask the

Chief among the relevant circumstances in the current situation are the imperial designs of Germany and
Japan. These two national establishments are very much alike. So much so that for the present purpose a
single line of analysis will passably cover both cases. The same line of analysis will also apply, with slight
adaptation, to more than one of the other Powers, or near-Powers, of the modern world; but in so far as such is
held to be the case, that is not a consideration that weakens the argument as applied to these two, which are to
be taken as the consummate type-form of a species of national establishments. They are, between them, the
best instance there is of what may be called a Dynastic State.

Except as a possible corrective of internal disorders and discontent, neither of the two States "desires" war;
but both are bent on dominion, and as the dominion aimed at is not to be had except by fighting for it, both in
effect are incorrigibly bent on warlike enterprise. And in neither case will considerations of equity, humanity,
decency, veracity, or the common good be allowed to trouble the quest of dominion. As lies in the nature of
the dynastic State, imperial dominion, in the ambitions of both, is beyond price; so that no cost is too high so
long[Pg 83] as ultimate success attends the imperial enterprise. So much is commonplace knowledge among
all men who are at all conversant with the facts.

To anyone who harbors a lively sentimental prejudice for or against either or both of the two nations so
spoken of, or for or against the manner of imperial enterprise to which both are committed, it may seem that
what has just been said of them and their relation to the world's peace runs on something of a bias and
conveys something of dispraise and reprobation. Such is not the intention, however, though the appearance is
scarcely to be avoided. It is necessary for the purposes of the argument unambiguously to recognise the nature
of these facts with which the inquiry is concerned; and any plain characterisation of the facts will unavoidably
carry a fringe of suggestions of this character, because current speech is adapted for their reprobation. The
point aimed at is not this inflection of approval or disapproval. The facts are to be taken impersonally for what
they are worth in their causal bearing on the chance of peace or war; not at their sentimental value as traits of
conduct to be appraised in point of their goodness or expediency.

So seen without prejudice, then, if that may be, this Imperial enterprise of these two Powers is to be rated as
the chief circumstance bearing on the chances of peace and conditioning the terms on which any peace plan
must be drawn. Evidently, in the presence of these two Imperial Powers any peace compact will be in a
precarious case; equally so whether either or both of them are parties to such compact or not. No engagement
binds a dynastic statesman in case it turns out not to further the dynastic enterprise. The question then recurs:
How may peace be maintained within the horizon of German or Japanese[Pg 84] ambitions? There are two
obvious alternatives, neither of which promises an easy way out of the quandary in which the world's peace is
placed by their presence: Submission to their dominion, or Elimination of these two Powers. Either alternative
would offer a sufficiently deterrent outlook, and yet any project for devising some middle course of
conciliation and amicable settlement, which shall be practicable and yet serve the turn, scarcely has anything
better to promise. The several nations now engaged on a war with the greater of these Imperial Powers hold to
a design of elimination, as being the only measure that merits hopeful consideration. The Imperial Power in
distress bespeaks peace and good-will.

Those advocates, whatever their nationality, who speak for negotiation with a view to a peace compact which
is to embrace these States intact, are aiming, in effect, to put things in train for ultimate submission to the
mastery of these Imperial Powers. In these premises an amicable settlement and a compact of perpetual peace
will necessarily be equivalent to arranging a period of recuperation and recruiting for a new onset of dynastic
enterprise. For, in the nature of the case, no compact binds the dynastic statesman, and no consideration other
than the pursuit of Imperial dominion commands his attention.

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There is, of course, no intention to decry this single-mindedness that is habitually put in evidence by the
dynastic statesmen. Nor should it be taken as evidence of moral obliquity in them. It is rather the result of a
peculiar moral attitude or bent, habitual to such statesmen, and in its degree also habitual to their compatriots,
and is indispensably involved in the Imperial frame of mind. The consummation of Imperial mastery being
the[Pg 85] highest and ubiquitously ulterior end of all endeavour, its pursuit not only relieves its votaries from
the observance of any minor obligations that run counter to its needs, but it also imposes a moral obligation to
make the most of any opportunity for profitable deceit and chicanery that may offer. In short, the dynastic
statesman is under the governance of a higher morality, binding him to the service of his nation's
ambition—or in point of fact, to the personal service of his dynastic master—to which it is his
dutiful privilege loyally to devote all his powers of force and fraud.

Democratically-minded persons, who are not moved by the call of loyalty to a gratuitous personal master, may
have some difficulty in appreciating the force and the moral austerity of this spirit of devotion to an ideal of
dynastic aggrandisement, and in seeing how its paramount exigence will set aside all meticulous scruples of
personal rectitude and veracity, as being a shabby with-holding of service due.

To such of these doubters as still have retained some remnants of their religious faith this attitude of loyalty
may perhaps be made intelligible by calling to mind the analogous self-surrender of the religious devotee.
And in this connection it may also be to the purpose to recall that in point of its genesis and derivation that
unreserved self-abasement and surrender to the divine ends and guidance, which is the chief grace and glory
of the true believer, is held by secular students of these matters to be only a sublimated analogue or counterfeit
of this other dutiful abasement that constitutes loyalty to a temporal master. The deity is currently spoken of
as The Heavenly King, under whose dominion no sinner has a right that He is bound to respect; very much
after the[Pg 86] fashion in which no subject of a dynastic state has a right which the State is bound to respect.
Indeed, all these dynastic establishments that so seek the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are surrounded
with a penumbra of divinity, and it is commonly a bootless question where the dynastic powers end and the
claims of divinity begin. There is something of a coalescence.[7]

The Kaiser holds dominion by divine grace and is accountable to none but God, if to Him. The whole case is
in a still better state of repair as touches the Japanese establishment, where the Emperor is a lineal descendant
of the supreme deity, Amaterazu (o mi Kami), and where, by consequence, there is no line of cleavage
between a divine and a secular mastery. Pursuant to this more unqualified authenticity of autocratic rule, there
is also to be found in this case a correspondingly unqualified devotion in the subjects and an unqualified
subservience to dynastic ends on the part of the officers of the crown. The coalescence of dynastic rule with
the divine order is less complete in the German case, but all observers bear witness that it all goes far enough
also in the German case. This state of things is recalled here as a means of making plain that the statesmen of
these Imperial[Pg 87] Powers must in the nature of the case, and without blame, be drawn out from under the
customary restraint of those principles of vulgar morality that are embodied in the decalogue. It is not that the
subject, or—what comes to the same thing—the servant of such a dynastic State may not be
upright, veracious and humane in private life, but only that he must not be addicted to that sort of thing in
such manner or degree as might hinder his usefulness for dynastic purposes. These matters of selfishly
individual integrity and humanity have no weight as against the exigencies of the dynastic enterprise.

These considerations may not satisfy all doubters as to the moral sufficiency of these motives that so suffice to
decide the dynastic statesmen on their enterprise of aggression by force and fraud; but it should be evident that
so long as these statesmen continue in the frame of mind spoken of, and so long as popular sentiment in these
countries continues, as hitherto, to lend them effectual support in the pursuit of such Imperial enterprise, so
long it must also remain true that no enduring peace can be maintained within the sweep of their Imperial
ambition. Any peace compact would necessarily be, in effect, an armistice terminable at will and serving as a
season of preparation to meet a deferred opportunity. For the peaceable nations it would, in effect, be a respite
and a season of preparation for eventual submission to the Imperial rule.

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By advocates of such a negotiated compact of perpetual peace it has been argued that the populace underlying
these Imperial Powers will readily be brought to realise the futility and inexpediency of such dynastic
enterprise, if only the relevant facts are brought to their knowledge, and that so these Powers will be
constrained to keep the[Pg 88] peace by default of popular support for their warlike projects. What is required,
it is believed by these sanguine persons, is that information be competently conveyed to the common people
of these warlike nations, showing them that they have nothing to apprehend in the way of aggression or
oppressive measures from the side of their more peaceable neighbours; whereupon their warlike animus will
give place to a reasonable and enlightened frame of mind. This argument runs tacitly or explicitly, on the
premise that these peoples who have so enthusiastically lent themselves to the current warlike enterprise are
fundamentally of the same racial complexion and endowed with the same human nature as their peaceable
neighbours, who would be only too glad to keep the peace on any terms of tolerable security from aggression.
If only a fair opportunity is offered for the interested peoples to come to an understanding, it is held, a good
understanding will readily be reached; at least so far as to result in a reasonable willingness to submit
questions in dispute to an intelligent canvass and an equitable arbitration.

Projects for a negotiated peace compact, to include the dynastic States, can hold any prospect of a happy issue
only if this line of argument, or its equivalent, is pertinent and conclusive; and the argument is to the point
only in so far as its premises are sound and will carry as far as the desired conclusion. Therefore a more
detailed attention to the premises on which it runs will be in place, before any project of the kind is allowed to
pass inspection.

As to homogeneity of race and endowment among the several nations in question, the ethnologists, who are
competent to speak of that matter, are ready to assert that this[Pg 89] homogeneity goes much farther among
the nations of Europe than any considerable number of peace advocates would be ready to claim. In point of
race, and broadly speaking, there is substantially no difference between these warring nations, along any
east-and-west line; while the progressive difference in racial complexion that is always met with along any
north-and-south line, nowhere coincides with a national or linguistic frontier. In no case does a political
division between these nations mark or depend on a difference of race or of hereditary endowment. And, to
give full measure, it may be added that also in no case does a division of classes within any one of these
nations, into noble and base, patrician and plebeian, lay and learned, innocent and vicious, mark or rest on any
slightest traceable degree of difference in race or in heritable endowment. On the point of racial homogeneity
there is no fault to find with the position taken.

If the second postulate in this groundwork of premises on which the advocates of negotiable peace base their
hopes were as well taken there need be no serious misgiving as to the practicability of such a plan. The plan
counts on information, persuasion and reflection to subdue national animosities and jealousies, at least in such
measure as would make them amenable to reason. The question of immediate interest on this head, therefore,
would be as to how far this populace may be accessible to the contemplated line of persuasion. At present they
are, notoriously, in a state of obsequious loyalty to the dynasty, single-minded devotion to the fortunes of the
Fatherland, and uncompromising hatred of its enemies. In this frame of mind there is nothing that is new,
except the degree of excitement. The animus, it will be recalled, was all there and on the alert when the call
came, so that the[Pg 90] excitement came on with the sweep of a conflagration on the first touch of a suitable
stimulus. The German people at large was evidently in a highly unstable equilibrium, so that an unexampled
enthusiasm of patriotic self-sacrifice followed immediately on the first incitement to manslaughter, very much
as if the nation had been held under an hypnotic spell. One need only recall the volume of overbearing
magniloquence that broke out all over the place in that beginning, when The Day was believed to be dawning.

Such a popular frame of mind is not a transient episode, to be created at short notice and put aside for a parcel
of salutary advice. The nation that will make such a massive concerted move with the alacrity shown in this
instance must be living in a state of alert readiness for just such an onset. Yet this is not to be set down as
anything in the way of a racial trait specifically distinguishing the German people from those other adjacent

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nationalities that are incapable of a similarly swift and massive response to the appeal of patriotism. These
adjacent nationalities are racially identical with the German people, but they do not show the same warlike
abandon in nearly the same degree.

But for all that, it is a national trait, not to be acquired or put away by taking thought. It is just here that the
line of definition runs: it is a national trait, not a racial one. It is not Nature, but it is Second Nature. But a
national trait, while it is not heritable in the simple sense of that term, has the same semblance, or the same
degree, of hereditary persistence that belongs to the national institutions, usages, conventionalities, beliefs,
which distinguish the given nation from its neighbors. In this instance it may be said more specifically that
this eager[Pg 91] loyalty is a heritage of the German people at large in the same sense and with the same
degree of permanence as the institution of an autocratic royalty has among them, or a privileged nobility.
Indeed, it is the institutional counterfoil of these establishments. It is of an institutional character, just as the
corresponding sense of national solidarity and patriotic devotion is among the neighboring peoples with
whom the German nation comes in comparison. And an institution is an historical growth, with just so much
of a character of permanence and continuity of transmission as is given it by the circumstances out of which it
has grown. Any institution is a product of habit, or perhaps more accurately it is a body of habits of thought
bearing on a given line of conduct, which prevails with such generality and uniformity throughout the group
as to have become a matter of common sense.

Such an article of institutional furniture is an outcome of usage, not of reflection or deliberate choice; and it
has consequently a character of self-legitimation, so that it stands in the accredited scheme of things as
intrinsically right and good, and not merely as a shrewdly chosen expedient ad interim. It affords a norm of
life, inosculating with a multiplicity of other norms, with which it goes to make up a balanced scheme of ends,
ways and means governing human conduct; and no one such institutional item, therefore, is materially to be
disturbed, discarded or abated except at the cost of serious derangement to the balanced scheme of things in
which it belongs as an integral constituent. Nor can such a detail norm of conduct and habitual propensity
come into bearing and hold its place, except by force of habituation which is at the same time consonant with
the common run of habituation to which the given community is subject. It follows[Pg 92] that the more
rigorous, comprehensive, unremitting and long-continued the habituation to which a given institutional
principle owes its vogue, the more intimately and definitively will it be embedded in the common sense of the
community, the less chance is there of its intrinsic necessity being effectually questioned or doubted, and the
less chance is there of correcting it or abating its force in case circumstances should so change as to make its
continued rule visibly inexpedient. Its abatement will be a work not of deliberation and design, but of
defection through disuse.

Not that reflection and sane counsel will count for nothing in these premises, but only that these exertions of
intelligence will count for relatively very little by comparison with the run of habituation as enforced by the
circumstances conditioning any given case; and further, that wise counsel and good resolutions can take effect
in the way of amending any untoward institutional bent only by way of suitable habituation, and only at such
a rate of change as the circumstances governing habituation will allow. It is, at the best, slow work to shift the
settled lines of any community's scheme of common sense. Now, national solidarity, and more particularly an
unquestioning loyalty to the sovereign and the dynasty, is a matter of course and of commonsense necessity
with the German people. It is not necessary to call to mind that the Japanese nation, which has here been
coupled with the German, are in the same case, only more so.

Doubtless it would be exceeding the premises to claim that it should necessarily take the German people as
long-continued and as harsh a schooling to unlearn their excess of chauvinism, their servile stooping to
gratuitous authority, and their eager subservience to the dynastic ambitions[Pg 93] of their masters, as that
which has in the course of history induced these habits in them. But it would seem reasonable to expect that
there should have to be some measure of proportion between what it has cost them in time and experience to
achieve their current frame of mind in this bearing and what it would cost to divest themselves of it. It is a

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question of how long a time and how exacting a discipline would be required so far to displace the current
scheme of commonsense values and convictions in force in the Fatherland as to neutralise their current
high-wrought principles of servility, loyalty and national animosity; and on the solution of this difficulty
appear to depend the chances of success for any proposed peace compact to which the German nation shall be
made a party, on terms of what is called an "honorable peace."

The national, or rather the dynastic and warlike, animus of this people is of the essence of their social and
political institutions. Without such a groundwork of popular sentiment neither the national establishment, nor
the social order on which it rests and through which it works, could endure. And with this underlying national
sentiment intact nothing but a dynastic establishment of a somewhat ruthless order, and no enduring system of
law and order not based on universal submission to personal rule, could be installed. Both the popular animus
and the correlative coercive scheme of law and order are of historical growth. Both have been learned,
acquired, and are in no cogent sense original with the German people. But both alike and conjointly have
come out of a very protracted, exacting and consistent discipline of mastery and subjection, running virtually
unbroken over the centuries that have passed since the region that is now the Fatherland first passed under the
predaceous rule of its[Pg 94] Teutonic invaders,—for no part of the "Fatherland" is held on other tenure
than that of forcible seizure in ancient times by bands of invaders, with the negligible exception of Holstein
and a slight extent of territory adjoining that province to the south and south-west. Since the time when such
peoples as were overtaken in this region by the Germanic barbarian invasions, and were reduced to subjection
and presently merged with their alien masters, the same general fashion of law and order that presently grew
out of that barbarian conquest has continued to govern the life of those peoples, with relatively slight and
intermittent relaxation of its rigors. Contrasted with its beginnings, in the shameful atrocities of the Dark Ages
and the prehistoric phases of this German occupation, the later stages of this system of coercive law and order
in the Fatherland will appear humane, not to say genial; but as compared with the degree of mitigation which
the like order of things presently underwent elsewhere in western Europe, it has throughout the historical
period preserved a remarkable degree of that character of arrogance and servility which it owes to its
barbarian and predatory beginnings.

The initial stages of this Germanic occupation of the Fatherland are sufficiently obscure under the cloud of
unrecorded antiquity that covers them; and then, an abundance of obscurantism has also been added by the
vapours of misguided vanity that have surrounded so nearly all historical inquiry on the part of patriotic
German scholars. Yet there are certain outstanding features in the case, in history and prehistory, that are too
large or too notorious to be set aside or to be covered over, and these may suffice to show the run of
circumstances which[Pg 95] have surrounded the German peoples and shaped their civil and political
institutions, and whose discipline has guided German habits of thought and preserved the German spirit of
loyalty in the shape in which it underlies the dynastic State of the present day.

Among the most engaging of those fables that make the conventional background of German history is the
academic legend of a free agricultural village community made up of ungraded and masterless men. It is not
necessary here to claim that such a village community never played a part in the remoter prehistoric
experiences out of which the German people, or their ruling classes, came into the territory of the Fatherland;
such a claim might divert the argument. But it is sufficiently patent to students of those matters today that no
such community of free and ungraded men had any part in the Germanic beginnings; that is to say, in the early
experiences of the Fatherland under German rule. The meager and ambiguous remarks of Tacitus on the state
of domestic and civil economy among the inhabitants of Germany need no longer detain anyone, in the
presence of the available archaeological and historical evidence. The circumstantial evidence of the
prehistoric antiquities which touch this matter, as well as the slight allusions of historical records in antiquity,
indicate unambiguously enough that when the Germanic immigrants moved into the territories of the
Fatherland they moved in as invaders, or rather as marauders, and made themselves masters of the people
already living on the land. And history quite as unambiguously declares that when the Fatherland first comes
under its light it presents a dark and bloody ground of tumultuous contention and intrigue; where princes and

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princelings, captains of war and of[Pg 96] rapine as well as the captains of superstition, spend the substance of
an ignominiously sordid and servile populace in an endless round of mutual raiding, treachery, assassinations
and supersession.

Taken at their face value, the recorded stories of that early time would leave one to infer that the common
people, whose industry supported this superstructure of sordid mastery, could have survived only by
oversight. But touched as it is with poetic license and devoted to the admirable life of the master
class—admirable in their own eyes and in those of their chroniclers, as undoubtedly also in the eyes of
the subject populace—the history of that time doubtless plays up the notable exploits and fortunes of its
conspicuous personages, somewhat to the neglect of the obscure vicissitudes of life and fortune among that
human raw material by use of which the admirable feats of the master class were achieved, and about the use
of which the dreary traffic of greed and crime went on among the masters.

Of the later history, what covers, say, the last one thousand years, there is no need to speak at length. With
transient, episodic, interruptions it is for the Fatherland a continuation out of these beginnings, leading out
into a more settled system of subjection and mastery and a progressively increased scale of princely
enterprise, resting on an increasingly useful and increasingly loyal populace. In all this later history the
posture of things in the Fatherland is by no means unique, nor is it even strikingly peculiar, by contrast with
the rest of western Europe, except in degree. It is of the same general kind as the rest of what has gone to
make the historical advance of medieval and modern times; but it differs from the generality in a more
sluggish movement and a more[Pg 97] tenacious adherence to what would be rated as the untoward features
of mediaevalism. The approach to a modern scheme of institutions and modern conceptions of life and of
human values has been slow, and hitherto incomplete, as compared with those communities that have, for
good or ill, gone farthest along the ways of modernity. Habituation to personal subjection and subservience
under the rigorous and protracted discipline of standardised service and fealty has continued later, and with
later and slighter mitigation, in the Fatherland; so as better to have conserved the spiritual attitude of the
feudal order. Law and order in the Fatherland has in a higher degree continued to mean unquestioning
obedience to a personal master and unquestioning subservience to the personal ambitions of the master. And
since freedom, in the sense of discretionary initiative on the part of the common man, does not fit into the
framework of such a system of dependence on personal authority and surveillance, any degree of such free
initiative will be "licence" in the eyes of men bred into the framework of this system; whereas "liberty," as
distinct from "licence," is not a matter of initiative and self-direction, but of latitude in the service of a master.
Hence no degree of curtailment in this delegated "liberty" will be resented or repudiated by popular
indignation, so long as the master to whom service is due can give assurance that it is expedient for his

The age-long course of experience and institutional discipline out of which the current German situation has
come may be drawn schematically to the following effect: In the beginning a turmoil of conquest, rapine,
servitude, and contention between rival bands of marauders and their captains, gradually, indeed
imperceptibly, fell into[Pg 98] lines of settled and conventionalised exploitation; with repeated interruptions
due to new incursions and new combinations of rapacious chieftains. Out of it all in the course of time came a
feudal régime, under which personal allegiance and service to petty chiefs was the sole and universal
accredited bond of solidarity. As the outcome of further unremitting intrigue and contention among feudal
chiefs, of high and low degree, the populace fell into larger parcels, under the hands of feudal lords of larger
dominion, and the bias of allegiance and service came to hold with some degree of permanence and
uniformity, or at least of consistency, over a considerable reach of country, including its inhabitants. With the
rise of States came allegiance to a dynasty, as distinguished from the narrower and more ephemeral allegiance
to the semi-detached person of a victorious prince; and the relative permanence of territorial frontiers under
this rule gave room for an effectual recrudescence of the ancient propensity to a sentimental group solidarity;
in which the accredited territorial limits of the dynastic dominion served to outline the group that so was felt
to belong together under a joint dispensation and with something of a joint interest in matters of fame and

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fortune. As the same notion is more commonly and more suggestively expressed, a sense of nationality arose
within the sweep of the dynastic rule. This sense of community interest that is called nationality so came in to
reenforce the sense of allegiance to the dynastic establishment and so has coalesced with it to produce that
high-wrought loyalty to the State, that draws equally on the sentiment of community interest in the nation and
on the prescriptive docility to the dynastic head. The sense of national solidarity and of feudal loyalty and
service have coalesced,[Pg 99] to bring this people to that climax of patriotic devotion beyond which there lies
no greater height along this way. But this is also as far as the German people have gone; and it is scarcely to
be claimed that the Japanese have yet reached this stage; they would rather appear to be, essentially, subjects
of the emperor, and only inchoately a Japanese nation. Of the German people it seems safe to say that they
have achieved such a coalescence of unimpaired feudal fealty to a personal master and a full-blown sense of
national solidarity, without any perceptible slackening in either strand of the double tie which so binds them
in the service of the dynastic State.

Germany, in other words, is somewhat in arrears, as compared with those Europeans that have gone farthest
along this course of institutional growth, or perhaps rather institutional permutation. It is not that this
retardation of the German people in this matter of national spirit is to be counted as an infirmity, assuredly not
as a handicap in the pursuit of that national prestige on which all patriotic endeavour finally converges. For
this purpose the failure to distinguish between the ambitions of the dynastic statesmen and the interests of the
commonwealth is really a prodigious advantage, which their rivals, of more mature growth politically, have
lost by atrophy of this same dynastic axiom of subservience. These others, of whom the French and the
English-speaking peoples make up the greater part and may be taken as the typical instance, have had a
different history, in part. The discipline of experience has left a somewhat different residue of habits of
thought embedded in their institutional equipment and effective as axiomatic premises in their further
apprehension of what is worth while, and why.[Pg 100]

It is not that the difference between these two contrasted strains of the Western civilisation is either profound
or very pronounced; it is perhaps rather to be stated as a difference of degree than of kind; a retardation of
spiritual growth, in respect of the prevalent and controlling habits of thought on certain heads, in the one case
as against the other. Therefore any attempt to speak with sufficient definition, so as to bring out this national
difference of animus in any convincing way, will unavoidably have an appearance of overstatement, if not
also of bias. And in any case, of course, it is not to be expected that the national difference here spoken for
can be brought home to the apprehension of any unspoiled son of the Fatherland, since it does not lie within
that perspective.

It is not of the nature of a divergence, but rather a differential in point of cultural maturity, due to a differential
in the rate of progression through that sequence of institutional phases through which the civilised peoples of
Europe, jointly and severally, have been led by force of circumstance. In this movement out of the Dark Ages
and onward, circumstances have fallen out differently for those Europeans that chanced to live within the
confines of the Fatherland, different with such effect as to have in the present placed these others at a farther
remove from the point of departure, leaving them furnished with less of that archaic frame of mind that is here
in question. Possessed of less, but by no means shorn of all—perhaps not of the major part—of
that barbaric heritage.

Circumstances have so fallen out that these—typically the French and the English-speaking
peoples—have left behind and partly forgotten that institutional phase in which the people of Imperial
Germany now live and move[Pg 101] and have their being. The French partly because they—that is the
common people of the French lands—entered the procession with a very substantial lead, having never
been put back to a point abreast of their neighbors across the Rhine, in that phase of European civilisation
from which the peoples of the Fatherland tardily emerged into the feudal age. So, any student who shall set
out to account for the visible lead which the French people still so obstinately maintain in the advance of
European culture, will have to make up his account with this notable fact among the premises of his inquiry,

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that they have had a shorter course to cover and have therefore, in the sporting phrase, had the inside track.
They measure from a higher datum line. Among the advantages which so have come, in a sense unearned, to
the French people, is their uninterrupted retention, out of Roman—and perhaps
pre-Roman—times, of the conception of a commonwealth, a community of men with joint and mutual
interests apart from any superimposed dependence on a joint feudal superior. The French people therefore
became a nation, with unobtrusive facility, so soon as circumstances permitted, and they are today the oldest
"nation" in Europe. They therefore were prepared from long beforehand, with an adequate principle (habit of
thought) of national cohesion and patriotic sentiment, to make the shift from a dynastic State to a national
commonwealth whenever the occasion for such a move should arise; that is to say, whenever the dynastic
State, by a suitable conjunction of infirmity and irksomeness, should pass the margin of tolerance in this
people's outraged sense of national shame. The case of the German people in their latterday attitude toward
dynastic vagaries may afford a term of comparison. These appear yet incapable of dis[Pg 102]tinguishing
between national shame and dynastic ambition.

By a different course and on lines more nearly parallel with the life-history of the German peoples, the
English-speaking peoples have reached what is for the present purpose much the same ground as the French,
in that they too have made the shift from the dynastic State to the national commonwealth. The British started
late, but the discipline of servitude and unmitigated personal rule in their case was relatively brief and
relatively ineffectual; that is to say, as compared with what their German cousins had to endure and to learn in
the like connection. So that the British never learned the lesson of dynastic loyalty fully by heart; at least not
the populace; whatever may be true for the privileged classes, the gentlemen, whose interests were on the side
of privilege and irresponsible mastery. Here as in the French case it was the habits of thought of the common
man, not of the class of gentlemen, that made the obsolescence of the dynastic State a foregone conclusion
and an easy matter—as one speaks of easy achievement in respect of matters of that magnitude. It is
now some two and a half centuries since this shift in the national point of view overtook the English-speaking
community. Perhaps it would be unfair to say that that period, or that period plus what further time may yet
have to be added, marks the interval by which German habits of thought in these premises are in arrears, but it
is not easy to find secure ground for a different and more moderate appraisal.

The future, of course, is not to be measured in terms of the past, and the tempo of the present and of the
calculable future is in many bearings very different from that which has ruled even in the recent historical
past.[Pg 103] But then, on the other hand, habituation always requires time; more particularly such
habituation as is to take effect throughout a populous nation and is counted on to work a displacement of a
comprehensive institutional system and of a people's outlook on life.

Germany is still a dynastic State. That is to say, its national establishment is, in effect, a self-appointed and
irresponsible autocracy which holds the nation in usufruct, working through an appropriate bureaucratic
organisation, and the people is imbued with that spirit of abnegation and devotion that is involved in their
enthusiastically supporting a government of that character. Now, it is in the nature of a dynastic State to seek
dominion, that being the whole of its nature. And a dynastic establishment which enjoys the unqualified
usufruct of such resources as are placed at its disposal by the feudalistic loyalty of the German people runs no
chance of keeping the peace, except on terms of the unconditional surrender of all those whom it may
concern. No solemn engagement and no pious resolution has any weight in the balance against a cultural
fatality of this magnitude.

This account of the derivation and current state of German nationalism will of course appear biased to anyone
who has been in the habit of rating German Culture high in all its bearings, and to whom at the same time the
ideals of peace and liberty appeal. Indeed, such a critic, gifted with the due modicum of asperity, might well
be provoked to call it all a more or less ingenious diatribe of partisan malice. But it can be so construed only
by those who see the question at issue as a point of invidious distinction between this German animus on the
one hand and the corresponding frame of mind of the[Pg 104] neighboring peoples on the other hand. There

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may also appear to the captious to be some air of deprecation about the characterisation here offered of the
past history of political traffic within the confines of the Fatherland. All of which, of course, touches neither
the veracity of the characterisation nor the purpose with which so ungrateful a line of analysis and exposition
has been entered upon. It is to be regretted if facts that may flutter the emotions of one and another among the
sensitive and unreflecting can not be drawn into such an inquiry without having their cogency discounted
beforehand on account of the sentimental value imputed to them. Of course no offense is intended and no
invidious comparison is aimed at.

Even if the point of it all were an invidious comparison it would immediately have to be admitted that the net
showing in favor of these others, e.g., the French or the English-speaking peoples, is by no means so
unreservedly to their credit as such a summary statement of the German case might seem to imply. As bearing
on the chances of a peace contingent upon the temper of the contracting nationalities, it is by no means a
foregone conclusion that such a peace compact would hold indefinitely even if it depended solely on the
pacific animus of these others that have left the dynastic State behind. These others, in fact, are also not yet
out of the woods. They may not have the same gift of gratuitous and irresponsible truculence as their German
cousins, in the same alarming degree; but as was said in an earlier passage, they too are ready to fight on
provocation. They are patriotic to a degree; indeed to such a degree that anything which visibly touches the
national prestige will readily afford a casus belli. But it remains true that the popular temper among[Pg 105]
them is of the defensive order; perhaps of an unnecessarily enthusiastic defensive order, but after all in such a
frame of mind as leaves them willing to let well enough alone, to live and let live.

And herein appears to lie the decisive difference between those peoples whose patriotic affections center
about the fortunes of an impersonal commonwealth and those in whom is superadded a fervent aspiration for
dynastic ascendency. The latter may be counted on to break the peace when a promising opportunity offers.

The contrast may be illustrated, though not so sharply as might be desirable, in the different temper shown by
the British people in the Boer war on the one hand, as compared with the popularity of the French-Prussian
war among the German people on the other hand. Both were aggressive wars, and both were substantially
unprovoked. Diplomatically speaking, of course, sufficient provocation was found in either case, as how
should it not? But in point of substantial provocation and of material inducement, both were about equally
gratuitous. In either case the war could readily have been avoided without material detriment to the
community and without perceptible lesion to the national honour. Both were "engineered" on grounds
shamelessly manufactured ad hoc by interested parties; in the one case by a coterie of dynastic statesmen, in
the other by a junta of commercial adventurers and imperialistic politicians. In neither case had the people any
interest of gain or loss in the quarrel, except as it became a question of national prestige. But both the German
and the British community bore the burden and fought the campaign to a successful issue for those interested
parties who had precipitated the quarrel. The British people at large, it is true, bore the burden; which[Pg 106]
comes near being all that can be said in the way of popular approval of this war, which political statesmen
have since then rated as one of the most profitable enterprises in which the forces of the realm have been
engaged. On the subject of this successful war the common man is still inclined to cover his uneasy sense of
decency with a recital of extenuating circumstances. What parallels all this in the German case is an outbreak
of patriotic abandon and an admirable spirit of unselfish sacrifice in furtherance of the dynastic prestige, an
intoxication of patriotic blare culminating in the triumphant coronation at Versailles. Nor has the sober
afterthought of the past forty-six years cast a perceptible shadow of doubt across the glorious memory of that
patriotic debauch.

Such is the difference of animus between a body of patriotic citizens in a modern commonwealth on the one
hand and the loyal subjects of a dynastic State on the other hand. There need be no reflections on the intrinsic
merits of either. Seen in dispassionate perspective from outside the turmoil, there is not much to choose, in
point of sane and self-respecting manhood, between the sluggish and shamefaced abettor of a sordid national
crime, and a ranting patriot who glories in serving as cat's-paw to a syndicate of unscrupulous politicians bent

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on dominion for dominion's sake. But the question here is not as to the relative merits or the relative manhood
contents of the two contrasted types of patriot. Doubtless both and either have manhood enough and to spare;
at least, so they say. But the point in question is the simpler and nowise invidious one, as to the availability of
both or either for the perpetuation of the world's peace under a compact of vigilant neutrality. Plainly the
German frame of mind admits of no neutrality; the quest of dominion[Pg 107] is not compatible with
neutrality, and the substantial core of German national life is still the quest of dominion under dynastic
tutelage. How it stands with the spirit that has repeatedly come in sight in the international relations of the
British community is a question harder to answer.

It may be practicable to establish a peace of neutrals on the basis of such national spirit as prevails among
these others—the French and English-speaking peoples, together with the minor nationalities that
cluster about the North Sea—because their habitual attitude is that of neutrality, on the whole and with
allowance for a bellicose minority in all these countries. By and large, these peoples have come to the tolerant
attitude that finds expression in the maxim, Live and let live. But they are all and several sufficiently patriotic.
It may, indeed, prove that they are more than sufficiently patriotic for the purposes of a neutral peace. They
stand for peace, but it is "peace with honour;" which means, in more explicit terms, peace with undiminished
national prestige. Now, national prestige is a very particular commodity, as has been set out in earlier passages
of this inquiry; and a peace which is to be kept only on terms of a jealous maintenance of the national honour
is likely to be in a somewhat precarious case. If, and when, the national honour is felt to require an enhanced
national ascendancy, the case for a neutral peace immediately becomes critical. And the greater the number
and diversity of pretensions and interests that are conceived to be bound up with the national honour, the more
unstable will the resulting situation necessarily be.

The upshot of all this recital of considerations appears to be that a neutral peace compact may, or it may
not,[Pg 108] be practicable in the absence of such dynastic States as Germany and Japan; whereas it has no
chance in the presence of these enterprising national establishments.

No one will be readier or more voluble in exclaiming against the falsity of such a discrimination as is here
attempted, between the democratic and the dynastic nations of the modern world, than the spokesmen of these
dynastic Powers. No one is more outspoken in professions of universal peace and catholic amity than these
same spokesmen of the dynastic Powers; and nowhere is there more urgent need of such professions. Official
and "inspired" professions are, of course, to be overlooked; at least, so charity would dictate. But there have,
in the historic present, been many professions of this character made also by credible spokesmen of the
German, and perhaps of the Japanese, people, and in all sincerity. By way of parenthesis it should be said that
this is not intended to apply to expressions of conviction and intention that have come out of Germany these
two years past (December 1916). Without questioning the credibility of these witnesses that have borne
witness to the pacific and genial quality of national sentiment in the German people, it will yet be in place to
recall the run of facts in the national life of Germany in this historical present and the position of these
spokesmen in the German community.

The German nation is of a peculiar composition in respect of its social structure. So far as bears on the
question in hand, it is made up of three distinctive constituent factors, or perhaps rather categories or
conditions of men. The populace is of course the main category, and in the last resort always the main and
decisive factor. Next in[Pg 109] point of consequence as well as of numbers and initiative is the personnel of
the control,—the ruling class, the administration, the official community, the hierarchy of civil and
political servants, or whatever designation may best suit; the category comprises that pyramidal superstructure
of privilege and control whereof the sovereign is the apex, and in whom, under any dynastic rule, is in effect
vested the usufruct of the populace. These two classes or conditions of men, the one of which orders and the
other obeys, make up the working structure of the nation, and they also between them embody the national life
and carry forward the national work and aim. Intermediate between them, or rather beside them and
overlapping the commissure, is a third category whose life articulates loosely with both the others at the same

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time that it still runs along in a semi-detached way. This slighter but more visible, and particularly more
audible, category is made up of the "Intellectuals," as a late, and perhaps vulgar, designation would name

These are they who chiefly communicate with the world outside, and at the same time they do what is
academically called thinking. They are in intellectual contact and communication with the world at large, in a
contact of give and take, and they think and talk in and about those concepts that go in under the caption of
the humanities in the world at large. The category is large enough to constitute an intellectual community,
indeed a community of somewhat formidable magnitude, taken in absolute terms, although in percentages of
the population at large their numbers will foot up to only an inconsiderable figure. Their contact with the
superior class spoken of above is fairly close, being a contact, in the main, of service on the one side and of
control on the other. With the popu[Pg 110]lace their contact and communion is relatively slight, the give and
take in the case being neither intimate nor far-reaching. More particularly is there a well-kept limit of
moderation on any work of indoctrination or intellectual guidance which this class may carry down among the
people at large, dictated and enforced by dynastic expediency. This category, of the Intellectuals, is
sufficiently large to live its own life within itself, without drawing on the spiritual life of the community at
large, and of sufficiently substantial quality to carry its own peculiar scheme of intellectual conventions and
verities. Of the great and highly meritorious place and work of these Intellectuals in the scheme of German
culture it is needless to speak. What is to the point is that they are the accredited spokesmen of the German
nation in all its commonplace communication with the rest of civilised Europe.

The Intellectuals have spoken with conviction and sincerity of the spiritual state of the German people, but in
so doing, and in so far as bears on the character of German nationalism, they have been in closer contact,
intellectually and sympathetically, with the intellectual and spiritual life of civilised Europe at large than with
the movements of the spirit among the German populace. And their canvassing of the concepts which so have
come under their attention from over the national frontiers has been carried forward—so far, again, as
bears on the questions that are here in point—with the German-dynastic principles, logic and
mechanism of execution under their immediate observation and supplying the concrete materials for inquiry.
Indeed, it holds true, by and large, that nothing else than this German-dynastic complement of ways and
means has, or can effectually, come under their[Pg 111] observation in such a degree of intimacy as to give
body and definition to the somewhat abstract theorems on cultural aims and national preconceptions that have
come to them from outside. In short, they have borrowed these theoretical formulations from abroad, without
the concrete apparatus of ways and means in which these theorems are embodied in their foreign habitat, and
have so found themselves construing these theoretical borrowings in the only concrete terms of which they
have had first-hand and convincing knowledge. Such an outcome would be fairly unavoidable, inasmuch as
these Intellectuals, however much they are, in the spirit, citizens of the cosmopolitan republic of knowledge
and intelligence, they are after all, in propria persona, immediately and unremittingly subjects of the
German-dynastic State; so that all their detail thinking on the aims, ways and means of life, in all its civil and
political bearings, is unavoidably shaped by the unremitting discipline of their workday experience under this
dynastic scheme. The outcome has been that while they have taken up, as they have understood them, the
concepts that rule the civic life of these other, maturer nations, they have apprehended and developed these
theorems of civic life in the terms and by the logic enforced in that system of control and surveillance known
to them by workday experience,—the only empirical terms at hand.

The apex of growth and the center of diffusion as regards the modern culture in respect of the ideals and logic
of civic life—other phases of this culture than this its civil aspect do not concern the point here in
question—this apex of growth and center of diffusion lie outside the Fatherland, in an environment
alien to the German institutional scheme. Yet so intrinsic to the cultural drift[Pg 112] of modern mankind are
these aims and this logic, that in taking over and further enriching the intellectual heritage of this modern
world the Intellectuals of the Fatherland have unavoidably also taken over those conceptions of civil initiative
and masterless self-direction that rule the logic of life in a commonwealth of ungraded men. They have taken

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these over and assimilated them as best their experience would permit. But workday experience and its
exigencies are stubborn things; and in this process of assimilation of these alien conceptions of right and
honest living, it is the borrowed theorems concerning civic rights and duties that have undergone adaptation
and revision, not the concrete system of ways and means in which these principles, so accepted, are to be put
in practice. Necessarily so, since in the German scheme of law and order the major premise is the dynastic
State, whereas the major premise of the modern civilised scheme of civic life is the absence of such an organ.
So, the development and elaboration of these modern principles of civic liberty—and this elaboration
has taken on formidable dimensions—under the hand of the German Intellectuals has uniformly run out
into Pickwickian convolutions, greatly suggestive of a lost soul seeking a place to rest. With unquestionably
serious purpose and untiring endeavour, they have sought to embody these modern civilised preconceptions in
terms afforded by, or in terms compatible with, the institutions of the Fatherland; and they have been much
concerned and magniloquently elated about the German spirit of freedom that so was to be brought to final
and consummate realisation in the life of a free people. But at no point and in no case have either the
proposals or their carrying out taken shape as a concrete application of the familiar principle of popular
self-direc[Pg 113]tion. It has always come to something in the way of a concessive or expedient mitigation of
the antagonistic principle of personal authority. Where the forms of self-government or of individual
self-direction have concessively been installed, under the Imperial rule, they have turned out to be an imitative
structure with some shrewd provision for their coercion or inhibition at the discretion of an irresponsible

Neither the sound intelligence nor the good faith of these Intellectuals of the Fatherland is to be impugned.
That the—necessarily vague and circumlocutory—expositions of civic institutions and popular
liberty which they have so often and so largely promulgated should have been used as a serviceable blind of
dynastic statecraft is not to be set down to their discredit. Circumstances over which they could have no
control, since they were circumstances that shaped their own habits of thought, have placed it beyond their
competence to apprehend or to formulate these alien principles (habits of thought) concretely in those alien
institutional details and by the alien logic with which they could have no working acquaintance.

To one and another this conception of cultural solidarity within the nation, and consequent cultural aliency
between nations, due to the different habits of life and of thought enforced by the two diverse institutional
systems, may be so far unfamiliar as to carry no conviction. It may accordingly not seem out of place to recall
that the institutional system of any given community, particularly for any community living under a
home-bred and time-tried system of its own, will necessarily be a balanced system of interdependent and
mutually concordant parts working together in one comprehensive plan of law and order. Through such an
institutional system, as, e.g.,[Pg 114] the German Imperial organisation, there will run a degree of logical
consistency, consonant with itself throughout, and exerting a consistent discipline throughout the community;
whereby there is enforced a consistent drift or bent in the prevalent habits of life, and a correlative bent in the
resulting habits of thought prevalent in the community. It is, in fact, this possession of a common scheme of
use and wont, and a consequent common outlook and manner of thinking, that constitutes the most intrinsic
bond of solidarity in any nationality, and that finally marks it off from any other.

It is equally a matter of course that any other given community, living under the rule of a substantially
different, or divergent, system of institutions, will be exposed to a course of workday discipline running to a
different, perhaps divergent, effect; and that this other community will accordingly come in for a
characteristically different discipline and fall under the rule of a different commonsense outlook. Where an
institutional difference of this kind is somewhat large and consistent, so as to amount in effect to a
discrepancy, as may fairly be said of the difference between Imperial Germany and its like on the one hand,
and the English-speaking nations on the other hand, there the difference in everyday conceptions may readily
make the two peoples mutually unintelligible to one another, on those points of institutional principle that are
involved in the discrepancy. This is the state of the case as between the German people, including the
Intellectuals, and the peoples against whom their preconceptions of national destiny have arrayed them. And

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the many vivid expressions of consternation, abhorrence and incredulity that have come out of this community
of Intellectuals in the course of the past two years of trial[Pg 115] and error, bear sufficient testimony to the
rigorous constraint which these German preconceptions and their logic exercise over the Intellectuals, no less
than over the populace.

Conversely, of course, it is nearly as impracticable for those who have grown up under the discipline of
democratic institutions to comprehend the habitual outlook of the commonplace German patriot on national
interests and aims; not quite, perhaps, because the discipline of use and wont and indoctrination is neither so
rigorous nor so consistent in their case. But there is, after all, prevalent among them a sufficiently evident
logical inability to understand and appreciate the paramount need of national, that is to say dynastic,
ascendancy that actuates all German patriots; just as these same patriots are similarly unable to consider
national interests in any other light than that of dynastic ascendancy.

Going simply on the face value of the available evidence, any outsider might easily fall into the error of
believing that when the great adventure of the war opened up before them, as well as when presently the
shock of baffled endeavour brought home its exasperating futility, the Intellectuals of the Fatherland
distinguished themselves above all other classes and conditions of men in the exuberance of their patriotic
abandon. Such a view would doubtless be almost wholly erroneous. It is not that the Intellectuals reached a
substantially superior pitch of exaltation, but only that, being trained in the use of language, they were able to
express their emotions with great facility. There seems no reason to believe that the populace fell short of the
same measure in respect of their prevalent frame of mind.[Pg 116]

To return to the workings of the Imperial dynastic State and the forces engaged. It plainly appears that the
Intellectuals are to be counted as supernumeraries, except so far as they serve as an instrument of publicity
and indoctrination in the hands of the discretionary authorities. The working factors in the case are the
dynastic organisation of control, direction and emolument, and the populace at large by use of whose
substance the traffic in dynastic ascendancy and emolument is carried on. These two are in fairly good accord,
on the ancient basis of feudal loyalty. Hitherto there is no evident ground for believing that this archaic tie that
binds the populace to the dynastic ambitions has at all perceptibly weakened. And the possibility of dynastic
Germany living at peace with the world under any compact, therefore translates itself into the possibility of
the German people's unlearning its habitual deference and loyalty to the dynasty.

As its acquirement has been a work of protracted habituation, so can its obsolescence also come about only
through more or less protracted habituation under a system of use and wont of a different or divergent order.
The elements of such a systematic discipline running to an effect at cross purposes with this patriotic animus
are not absent from the current situation in the Fatherland; the discipline of the modern industrial system, for
instance, runs to such a divergent effect; but this, and other conceivable forces which may reenforce it, will
after all take time, if they are to work a decisive change in the current frame of mind of the patriotic German
community. During the interval required for such a change in the national temper, the peace of the world
would be conditioned on the inability of the dynastic State to break it. So that the chances of success for
any[Pg 117] neutral peace league will vary inversely as the available force of Imperial Germany, and it could
be accounted secure only in the virtual elimination of the Imperial State as a national Power.

If the gradual obsolescence of the spirit of militant loyalty in the German people, through disuse under a
régime of peace, industry, self government and free trade, is to be the agency by force of which dynastic
imperialism is to cease, the chance of a neutral peace will depend on the thoroughness with which such a
régime of self-direction can be installed in this case, and on the space of time required for such obsolescence
through disuse. Obviously, the installation of a workable régime of self-government on peaceable lines would
in any case be a matter of great difficulty among a people whose past experience has so singularly
incapacitated them for self-government; and obviously, too, the interval of time required to reach secure
ground along this line of approach would be very considerable. Also, in view of these conditions, obviously,

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this scheme for maintaining the peace of nations by a compact of neutrals based on a compromise with an
aspiring dynastic State resolves itself into the second of the two alternatives spoken of at the outset, viz., a
neutral peace based on the elimination of Germany as a war power, together with the elimination of any
materials suitable for the formation of a formidable coalition. And then, with Imperial Germany supposedly
eliminated or pacified, there would still remain the Japanese establishment, to which all the arguments
pertinent in the case of Germany will apply without abatement; except that, at least hitherto, the dynastic
statesmen of Japan have not had the disposal of so massive a body of resources, in population, industry, or
raw materials.[Pg 118]


Peace Without Honour

The argument therefore turns back to a choice between the two alternatives alluded to: peace in submission to
the rule of the German dynastic establishment (and to Japan), or peace through elimination of these
enterprising Powers. The former alternative, no doubt, is sufficiently unattractive, but it is not therefore to be
put aside without a hearing. As goes without saying, it is repugnant to the patriotic sentiments of those
peoples whom the Imperial German establishment have elected for submission. But if this unreflecting
patriotic revulsion can once be made amenable to reason, there is always something to be said in favor of such
a plan of peaceable submission, or at least in extenuation of it; and if it is kept in mind that the ulterior
necessity of such submission must always remain in perspective as a condition precedent to a peaceful
settlement, so long as one or both of these enterprising Powers remains intact, it will be seen that a sane
appraisal of the merits of such a régime of peace is by no means uncalled for. For neither of these two Powers
is there a conclusive issue of endeavour short of paramount dominion.

There should also be some gain of insight and sobriety in recalling that the Intellectuals of the Fatherland,
who have doubtless pondered this matter longer and more[Pg 119] dispassionately than all other men, have
spoken very highly of the merits of such a plan of universal submission to the rule of this German dynastic
establishment. They had, no doubt, been considering the question both long and earnestly, as to what would,
in the light of reason, eventually be to the best interest of those peoples whose manifest destiny was eventual
tutelage under the Imperial crown; and there need also be no doubt that in that time (two years past) they
therefore spoke advisedly and out of the fulness of the heart on this head. The pronouncements that came out
of the community of Intellectuals in that season of unembarrassed elation and artless avowal are doubtless to
be taken as an outcome of much thoughtful canvassing of what had best be done, not as an enforced
compromise with untoward necessities but as the salutary course freely to be pursued with an eye single to the
best good of all concerned.

It is true, the captious have been led to speak slightingly of the many utterances of this tenure coming out of
the community of Intellectuals, as, e.g., the lay sermons of Professor Ostwald dating back to that season; but
no unprejudiced reader can well escape the persuasion that these, as well as the very considerable volume of
similar pronouncements by many other men of eminent scholarship and notable for benevolent sentiments, are
faithfully to be accepted as the expressions of a profound conviction and a consciously generous spirit. In so
speaking of the advantages to be derived by any subject people from submission to the German Imperial rule,
these Intellectuals are not to be construed as formulating the drift of vulgar patriotic sentiment among their
compatriots at large, but rather as giving out the deliverances of their own more sensitive spirit and maturer
delibera[Pg 120]tion, as men who are in a position to see human affairs and interests in a larger perspective.
Such, no doubt, would be their own sense of the matter.

Reflection on the analogous case of the tutelage exercised by the American government over the subject
Philippinos may contribute to a just and temperate view of what is intended in the régime of tutelage and

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submission so spoken for by the German Intellectuals,—and, it may be added, found good by the
Imperial statesmen. There would, of course, be the difference, as against the case of the Philippinos, that
whereas the American government is after all answerable, in the last resort and in a somewhat random
fashion, to a popular opinion that runs on democratic preconceptions, the German Imperial establishment on
the other hand is answerable to no one, except it be to God, who is conceived to stand in somewhat the
relation of a silent partner, or a minority stockholder in this dynastic enterprise.

Yet it should not be overlooked that any presumptive hard usage which the vassal peoples might look for at
the hands of the German dynasty would necessarily be tempered with considerations of expediency as dictated
by the exigencies of usufruct. The Imperial establishment has shown itself to be wise, indeed more wise than
amiable, but wise at least in its intentions, in the use which it has made of subject peoples hitherto. It is true, a
somewhat accentuated eagerness on the part of the Imperial establishment to get the maximum service in a
minimum of time and at a minimum cost from these subject populations,—as, e.g., in Silesia and
Poland, in Schleswig-Holstein, in Alsace-Lorraine, or in its African and Oceanic possessions,—has at
times led to practices altogether dubious on humanitarian grounds, at the same[Pg 121] time that in point of
thrifty management they have gone beyond "what the traffic will bear." Yet it is not to be
overlooked—and in this connection it is a point of some weight—that, so far as the predatory
traditions of its statecraft will permit, the Imperial establishment has in all these matters been guided by a
singularly unreserved attention to its own material advantage. Where its management in these premises has
yielded a less profitable usufruct than the circumstances would reasonably admit, the failure has been due to
an excess of cupidity rather than the reverse.

The circumstantial evidence converges to the effect that the Imperial establishment may confidently be
counted on to manage the affairs of its subject peoples with an eye single to its own material gain, and it may
with equal confidence be counted on that in the long run no unadvised excesses will be practised. Of course,
an excessive adventure in atrocity and predation, due to such human infirmity in its agents or in its directorate
as has been shown in various recent episodes, is to be looked for now and again; but these phenomena would
come in by way of fluctuating variations from the authentic routine, rather than as systematic features of it.

That superfluity of naughtiness that has given character to the current German Imperial policy in Belgium,
e.g., or that similarly has characterised the dealings of Imperial Japan in Korea during the late "benevolent
assimilation" of that people into Japanese-Imperial usufruct, is not fairly to be taken to indicate what such an
Imperial establishment may be expected to do with a subject people on a footing of settled and long-term
exploitation. At the outset, in both instances, the policy of frightfulness was dictated by a well-advised view
to[Pg 122] economy of effort in reducing the subject people to an abject state of intimidation, according to the
art of war as set forth in the manuals; whereas latterly the somewhat profligate excesses of the government of
occupation—decently covered with diplomatic parables on benevolence and legality—have been
dictated by military convenience, particularly by the need of forced labor and the desirability of a reduced
population in the acquired territory. So also the "personally conducted" dealings with the Armenians by use of
the Turks should probably also best be explained as an endeavour to reduce the numbers of an undesirable
population beforehand, without incurring unnecessary blame. All these things are, at the most, misleading
indications of what the Imperial policy would be like under settled conditions and in the absence of

By way of contrast, such as may serve to bring the specific traits of this prospective Imperial tutelage of
nations into a better light, the Ottoman usufruct of the peoples of the Turkish dominions offers an instructive
instance. The Ottoman tutelage is today spoken of by its apologists in terms substantially identical with the
sketches of the future presented by hopeful German patriots in the early months of the current war. But as is
so frequently the case in such circumstances, these expressions of the officers have to be understood in a
diplomatic sense; not as touching the facts in any other than a formal way. It is sufficiently evident that the
Ottoman management of its usufruct has throughout been ill-advised enough persistently to charge more than

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the traffic would bear, probably due in great part to lack of control over its agents or ramifications, by the
central office. The Ottoman establishment has not observed, or[Pg 123] enforced, the plain rules of economy
in its utilisation of the subject peoples, and finds itself today bankrupt in consequence. What may afford more
of a parallel to the prospective German tutelage of the nations is the procedure of the Japanese establishment
in Korea, Manchuria, or China; which is also duly covered with an ostensibly decent screen of diplomatic
parables, but the nature and purpose of which is overt enough in all respects but the nomenclature. It is not
unlikely that even this Japanese usufruct and tutelage runs on somewhat less humane and complaisant lines
than a well-advised economy of resources would dictate for the prospective German usufruct of the Western

There is the essential difference between the two cases that while Japan is over-populated, so that it becomes
the part of a wise government to find additional lands for occupancy, and that so it is constrained by its
imperial ambitions to displace much of the population in its subject territories, the Fatherland on the other
hand is under-populated—notoriously, though not according to the letter of the diplomatic parables on
this head—and for the calculable future must continue to be under-populated; provided that the state of
the industrial arts continues subject to change in the same general direction as hitherto, and provided that no
radical change affects the German birth-rate. So, since the Imperial government has no need of new lands for
occupancy by its home population, it will presumably be under no inducement to take measures looking to the
partial depopulation of its subject territories.

The case of Belgium and the measures looking to a reduction of its population may raise a doubt, but probably
not a well taken doubt. It is rather that since it has[Pg 124] become evident that the territory can not be held, it
is thought desirable to enrich the Fatherland with whatever property can be removed, and to consume the
accumulated man-power of the Belgian people in the service of the war. It would appear that it is a
war-measure, designed to make use of the enemy's resources for his defeat. Indeed, under conditions of settled
occupation or subjection, any degree of such depopulation would entail an economic loss, and any
well-considered administrative policy would therefore look to the maintenance of the inhabitants of the
acquired territories in undiminished numbers and unimpaired serviceability.

The resulting scheme of Imperial usufruct should accordingly be of a considerate, not to say in effect humane,
character,—always provided that the requisite degree of submission and subservience ("law and order")
can be enforced by a system of coercion so humane as not to reduce the number of the inhabitants or
materially to lower their physical powers. Such would, by reasonable expectation, be the character of this
projected Imperial tutelage and usufruct of the nations of Christendom. In its working-out this German project
should accordingly differ very appreciably from the policy which its imperial ambitions have constrained the
Japanese establishment to pursue in its dealings with the life and fortunes of its recently, and currently,
acquired subject peoples.

The better to appreciate in some concrete fashion what should, by reasonable expectation, be the terms on
which life might so be carried on sub pace germanica, attention may be invited to certain typical instances of
such peace by abnegation among contemporary peoples. Perhaps at the top of the list stands India, with its
many and varied[Pg 125] native peoples, subject to British tutelage, but, the British apologists say, not subject
to British usufruct. The margin of tolerance in this instance is fairly wide, but its limits are sharply drawn.
India is wanted and held, not for tribute or revenue to be paid into the Imperial treasury, nor even for
exclusive trade privileges or preferences, but mainly as a preserve to provide official occupation and
emoluments for British gentlemen not otherwise occupied or provided for; and secondarily as a means of
safeguarding lucrative British investments, that is to say, investments by British capitalists of high and low
degree. The current British professions on the subject of this occupation of India, and at times the shamefaced
apology for it, is that the people of India suffer no hardship by this means; the resulting governmental
establishment being no more onerous and no more expensive to them than any equally, or even any less,
competent government of their own would necessarily be. The fact, however, remains, that India affords a

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much needed and very considerable net revenue to the class of British gentlemen, in the shape of official
salaries and pensions, which the British gentry at large can on no account forego. Narrowed to these
proportions it is readily conceivable that the British usufruct of India should rest with no extraordinary weight
on the Indian people at large, however burdensome it may at times become to those classes who aspire to take
over the usufruct in case the British establishment can be dislodged. This case evidently differs very
appreciably from the projected German usufruct of neighboring countries in Europe.

A case that may be more nearly in point would be that of any one of the countries subject to the Turkish rule
in recent times; although these instances scarcely show just[Pg 126] what to expect under the projected
German régime. The Turkish rule has been notably inefficient, considered as a working system of dynastic
usufruct; whereas it is confidently expected that the corresponding German system would show quite an
exceptional degree of efficiency for the purpose. This Turkish inefficiency has had a two-fold effect, which
should not appear in the German case. Through administrative abuses intended to serve the personal
advantage of the irresponsible officials, the underlying peoples have suffered a progressive exhaustion and
dilapidation; whereby the central authority, the dynastic establishment, has also grown progressively,
cumulatively weaker and therefore less able to control its agents; and, in the second place, on the same
grounds, in the pursuit of personal gain, and prompted by personal animosities, these irresponsible agents
have persistently carried their measures of extortion beyond reasonable bounds,—that is to say beyond
the bounds which a well considered plan of permanent usufruct would countenance. All this would be
otherwise and more sensibly arranged under German Imperial auspices.

One of the nations that have fallen under Turkish rule—and Turkish peace—affords a valuable
illustration of a secondary point that is to be considered in connection with any plan of peace by submission.
The Armenian people have in later time come partly under Russian dominion, and so have been exposed to
the Russian system of bureaucratic exploitation; and the difference between Russian and Turkish Armenia is
instructive. According to all credible—that is unofficial—accounts, conditions are perceptibly
more tolerable in Russian Armenia. Well informed persons relate that the cause for this more lenient, or less
extreme, administration of affairs under[Pg 127] Russian officials is a selective death rate among them, such
that a local official who persistently exceeds a certain ill-defined limit of tolerance is removed by what would
under other circumstances be called an untimely death. No adequate remedy has been found, within the large
limits which Russian bureaucratic administration habitually allows itself in questions of coercion. The Turk,
on the other hand, less deterred by considerations of long-term expediency, and, it may be, less easily
influenced by outside opinion on any point of humanity, has found a remedy in the systematic extirpation of
any village in which an illicit death occurs. One will incline to presume that on this head the German Imperial
procedure would be more after the Russian than after the Turkish pattern; although latterday circumstantial
evidence will throw some sinister doubt on the reasonableness of such an expectation.

It is plain, however, that the Turkish remedy for this form of insubordination is a wasteful means of keeping
the peace. Plainly, to the home office, the High Command, the extinction of a village with its population is a
more substantial loss than the unseasonable decease of one of its administrative agents; particularly when it is
called to mind that such a decease will presumably follow only on such profligate excesses of naughtiness as
are bound to be inexcusably unprofitable to the central authority. It may be left an open question how far a
corrective of this nature can hopefully be looked to as applicable, in case of need, under the projected German
Imperial usufruct.

It may, I apprehend, be said without offense that there is no depth of depravity below the ordinary reach of the
Russian bureaucracy; but this organisation finds itself[Pg 128] constrained, after all, to use circumspection
and set some limits on individual excursions beyond the bounds of decency and humanity, so soon as these
excesses touch the common or joint interest of the organisation. Any excess of atrocity, beyond a certain
margin of tolerance, on the part of any one of its members is likely to work pecuniary mischief to the rest; and
then, the bureaucratic conduct of affairs is also, after all, in an uncertain degree subject to some surveillance

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by popular sentiment at home or abroad. The like appears not to hold true of the Turkish official organisation.
The difference may be due to a less provident spirit among the latter, as already indicated. But a different
tradition, perhaps an outgrowth of this lack of providence and of the consequent growth of a policy of
"frightfulness," may also come in for a share in the outcome; and there is also a characteristic difference in
point of religious convictions, which may go some way in the same direction. The followers of Islam appear
on the whole to take the tenets of their faith at their face value—servile, intolerant and
fanatic—whereas the Russian official class may perhaps without undue reproach be considered to have
on the whole outlived the superstitious conceits to which they yield an expedient pro forma observance. So
that when worse comes to worst, and the Turk finds himself at length with his back against the last
consolations of the faith that makes all things straight, he has the assured knowledge that he is in the right as
against the unbelievers; whereas the Russian bureaucrat in a like case only knows that he is in the wrong. The
last extremity is a less conclusive argument to the man in whose apprehension it is not the last extremity.
Again, there is some shadow of doubt falls on the question as to which of these is more nearly in the German
Imperial spirit.[Pg 129]

On the whole, the case of China is more to the point. By and large, the people of China, more particularly the
people of the coastal-plains region, have for long habitually lived under a régime of peace by non-resistance.
The peace has been broken transiently from time to time, and local disturbances have not been infrequent; but,
taken by and large, the situation has habitually been of the peaceful order, on a ground of non-resisting
submission. But this submission has not commonly been of a whole-hearted kind, and it has also commonly
been associated with a degree of persistent sabotage; which has clogged and retarded the administration of
governmental law and order, and has also been conducive to a large measure of irresponsible official
corruption. The habitual scheme of things Chinese in this bearing may fairly be described as a peace of
non-resistance tempered with sabotage and assassination. Such was the late Manchu régime, and there is no
reason in China for expecting a substantially different outcome from the Japanese invasion that is now under
way. The nature of this Japanese incursion should be sufficiently plain. It is an enterprise in statecraft after the
order of Macchiavelli, Metternich, and Bismarck. Of course, the conciliatory fables given out by the
diplomatic service, and by the other apologists, are to be taken at the normal discount of one-hundred percent.
The relatively large current output of such fables may afford a hint as to the magnitude of the designs which
the fables are intended to cover.

The Chinese people have had a more extended experience in peace of this order than all others, and their case
should accordingly be instructive beyond all others. Not that a European peace by non-resistance need be
expected to run very closely on the Chinese lines, but there[Pg 130] should be a reasonable expectation that
the large course of things would be somewhat on the same order in both cases. Neither the European traditions
and habitual temperament nor the modern state of the industrial arts will permit one to look for anything like a
close parallel in detail; but it remains true, when all is said, that the Chinese experience of peace under
submission to alien masters affords the most instructive illustration of such a régime, as touches its
practicability, its methods, its cultural value, and its effect on the fortunes of the subject peoples and of their

Now, it may be said by way of preliminary generalisation that the life-history of the Chinese people and their
culture is altogether the most imposing achievement which the records of mankind have to show; whereas the
history of their successive alien establishments of mastery and usufruct is an unbroken sequence of incredibly
shameful episodes,—always beginning in unbounded power and vainglory, running by way of misrule,
waste and debauchery, to an inglorious finish in abject corruption and imbecility. Always have the gains in
civilisation, industry and in the arts, been made by the subject Chinese, and always have their alien masters
contributed nothing to the outcome but misrule, waste, corruption and decay. And yet in the long run, with all
this handicap and misrule, the Chinese people have held their place and made headway in those things to
which men look with affection and esteem when they come to take stock of what things are worth while. It
would be a hopeless task to count up how many dynasties of masterful barbarians, here and there, have

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meanwhile come up and played their ephemeral role of vainglorious nuisance and gone under[Pg 131] in
shame and confusion, and dismissed with the invariable verdict of "Good Riddance!"

It may at first sight seem a singular conjuncture of circumstances, but it is doubtless a consequence of the
same conjuncture, that the Chinese people have also kept their hold through all history on the Chinese lands.
They have lived and multiplied and continued to occupy the land, while their successive alien masters have
come and gone. So that today, as the outcome of conquest, and of what would be rated as defeat, the people
continue to be Chinese, with an unbroken pedigree as well as an unbroken line of home-bred culture running
through all the ages of history. In the biological respect the Chinese plan of non-resistance has proved
eminently successful.

And, by the way, much the same, though not in the same degree, is true for the Armenian people; who have
continued to hold their hill country through good days and evil, apparently without serious or enduring
reduction of their numbers and without visible lapse into barbarism, while the successive disconnected
dynasties of their conquering rulers have come and gone, leaving nothing but an ill name. "This fable teaches"
that a diligent attention to the growing of crops and children is the sure and appointed way to the maintenance
of a people and its culture even under the most adverse conditions, and that eventual death and shameful
destruction inexorably wait on any "ruling race." Hitherto the rule has not failed. The rule, indeed, is grounded
in the heritable traits of human nature, from which there is no escape.

For its long-term biological success, as well as for the continued integrity of a people's culture, a peace of
non-resistance, under good or evil auspices, is more to be desired than imperial dominion. But these things are
not[Pg 132] all that modern peoples live for, perhaps it is safe to say that in no case are these chief among the
things for which civilised Europeans are willing to live. They urgently need also freedom to live their own life
in their own way, or rather to live within the bonds of convention which they have come in for by use and
wont, or at least they believe that such freedom is essential to any life that shall be quite worth while. So also
they have a felt need of security from arbitrary interference in their pursuit of a livelihood and in the free
control of their own pecuniary concerns. And they want a discretionary voice in the management of their joint
interests, whether as a nation or in a minor civil group. In short, they want personal, pecuniary and political
liberty, free from all direction or inhibition from without. They are also much concerned to maintain favorable
economic conditions for themselves and their children. And last, but chiefly rather than least, they commonly
are hide-bound patriots inspired with an intractable felt need of national prestige.

It is an assemblage of peoples in such a frame of mind to whom the pacifists are proposing, in effect, a plan
for eventual submission to an alien dynasty, under the form of a neutral peace compact to include the warlike
Powers. There is little likelihood of such a scheme being found acceptable, with popular sentiment running as
it now does in the countries concerned. And yet, if the brittle temper in which any such proposal is rejected by
popular opinion in these countries today could be made to yield sufficiently to reflection and deliberate
appraisal, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that its acceptance would not be the best way out of a
critical situation. The cost of disabling and eliminating the warlike Power whose dominion is[Pg 133] feared,
or even of staving off the day of surrender, is evidently serious enough. The merits of the alternative should be
open to argument, and should, indeed, be allowed due consideration. And any endeavour to present them
without heat should presumably find a hearing. It appears to have been much of the fault of the pacifists who
speak for the Peace League that they have failed or refused to recognise these ulterior consequences of the
plan which they advocate; so that they appear either not to know what they are talking about, or to avoid
talking about what they know.

It will be evident from beforehand that the grave difficulty to be met in any advocacy of peace on terms of
non-resistant subjection to an alien dynastic rule—"peace at any price"—is a difficulty of the
psychological order. Whatever may be conceived to hold true for the Chinese people, such submission is
repugnant to the sentiments of the Western peoples. Which in turn evidently is due to the prevalence of certain

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habitual preconceptions among modern civilised men,—certain acquired traits of temper and bias, of
the nature of fixed ideas. That something in the way of a reasonably contented and useful life is possible under
such a régime as is held in prospect, and even some tolerable degree of well-being, is made evident in the
Chinese case. But the Chinese tolerance of such a régime goes to argue that they are charged with fewer
preconceptions at variance with the exigencies of life under these conditions. So, it is commonly accepted,
and presumably to be accepted, that the Chinese people at large have little if any effectual sense of nationality;
their patriotism appears to be nearly a negligible quantity. This would appear to an outsider to have been their
besetting weakness, to which their successful subjection by various and[Pg 134] sundry ambitious aliens has
been due. But it appears also to have been the infirmity by grace of which this people have been obliged to
learn the ways of submission, and so have had the fortune to outlive their alien masters, all and sundry, and to
occupy the land and save the uncontaminated integrity of their long-lived civilisation.

Some account of the nature and uses of this spirit of patriotism that is held of so great account among Western
nations has already been set out in an earlier passage. One or two points in the case, that bear on the argument
here, may profitably be recalled. The patriotic spirit, or the tie of nationalism, is evidently of the nature of
habit, whatever proclivity to the formation of such a habit may be native to mankind. More particularly is it a
matter of habit—it might even be called a matter of fortuitous habit—what particular national
establishment a given human subject will become attached to on reaching what is called "years of discretion"
and so becoming a patriotic citizen.

The analogy of the clam may not be convincing, but it may at least serve to suggest what may be the share
played by habituation in the matter of national attachment. The young clam, after having passed the
free-swimming phase of his life, as well as the period of attachment to the person of a carp or similar fish,
drops to the bottom and attaches himself loosely in the place and station in life to which he has been led; and
he loyally sticks to his particular patch of ooze and sand through good fortune and evil. It is, under
Providence, something of a fortuitous matter where the given clam shall find a resting place for the sole of his
foot, but it is also, after all, "his own, his native land" etc. It lies in the[Pg 135] nature of a clam to attach
himself after this fashion, loosely, to the bottom where he finds a living, and he would not be a "good clam
and true" if he failed to do so; but the particular spot for which he forms this attachment is not of the essence
of the case. At least, so they say.

It may be, as good men appear to believe or know, that all men of sound, or at least those of average, mind
will necessarily be of a patriotic temper and be attached by ties of loyalty to some particular national
establishment, ordinarily the particular establishment which is formally identified with the land in which they
live; although it is always possible that a given individual may be an alien in the land, and so may owe
allegiance to and be ruled by a patriotic attachment to another national establishment, to which the
conventionalities governing his special case have assigned him as his own proper nation. The analogy of the
clam evidently does not cover the case. The patriotic citizen is attached to his own proper nationality not
altogether by the accident of domicile, but rather by the conventions, legal or customary, which assign him to
this or that national establishment according to certain principles of use and wont.

Mere legal citizenship or allegiance does not decide the matter either; at least not by any means unavoidably;
as appears in the case of the Chinese subject under Manchu or Japanese rule; and as appears perhaps more
perspicuously in the case of the "hyphenate" American citizen, whose formal allegiance is to the nation in
whose land he prefers to live, all the while that his patriotic affection centers on his spiritual Fatherland in
whose fortunes he has none but a non-resident interest. Indeed, the particular national tie that will bind the
affections[Pg 136]—that is to say the effectual patriotic attachment—of any given individual
may turn out on closer scrutiny to be neither that of domicile or of formal legal allegiance, nor that of putative
origin or pedigree, but only a reflex of certain national animosities; which may also turn out on examination to
rest on putative grounds—as illustrated by a subsidiary class of hyphenate American citizens whose
affections have come to be bound up in the national fortunes of one foreign Power for the simple, but

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sufficient, reason that, on conventional grounds, they bear malice against another equally foreign Power.

Evidently there is much sophistication, not to say conventionalised affectation, in all this national attachment
and allegiance. It will perhaps not do to say that it is altogether a matter of sophistication. Yet it may not
exceed the premises to say that the particular choice, the concrete incidence, of this national attachment is in
any given case a matter of sophistication, largely tempered with fortuity. One is born into a given
nationality—or, in case of dynastic allegiance, into service and devotion to a (fortuitously) given
sovereign—or at least so it is commonly believed. Still one can without blame, and without excessive
shame, shift one's allegiance on occasion. What is not countenanced among civilised men is to shift out of
allegiance to any given nationality or dynasty without shifting into the like complication of gainless
obligations somewhere else. Such a shifting of national or dynastic base is not quite reputable, though it is
also not precisely disreputable. The difficulty in the case appears to be a moral difficulty, not a mental or a
pecuniary one, and assuredly not a physical difficulty, since the relation in question is not a physical relation.
It would appear to be of the moral order of things, in that sense of the term in which[Pg 137] conventional
proprieties are spoken of as moral. That is to say, it is a question of conforming to current expectations under
a code of conventional proprieties. Like much of the conventional code of behavior this patriotic attachment
has the benefit of standardised decorum, and its outward manifestations are enjoined by law. All of which
goes to show how very seriously the whole matter is regarded.

And yet it is also a matter of common notoriety that large aggregates of men, not to speak of sporadic
individuals, will on occasion shift their allegiance with the most felicitous effect and with no sensible loss of
self-respect or of their good name. Such a shift is to be seen in multiple in the German nation within the past
half-century, when, for instance, the Hanoverians, the Saxons, and even the Holsteiners in very appreciable
numbers, not to mention the subjects of minuscular principalities whose names have been forgotten in the
shuffle, all became good and loyal subjects of the Empire and of the Imperial dynasty,—good and loyal
without reservation, as has abundantly appeared. So likewise within a similar period the inhabitants of the
Southern States repudiated their allegiance to the Union, putting in its place an equivalent loyalty to their
new-made country; and then, when the new national establishment slipped out from under their feet they
returned as whole-heartedly as need be to their earlier allegiance. In each of these moves, taken with
deliberation, it is not to be doubted that this body of citizens have been moved by an unimpeachable spirit of
patriotic honour. No one who is in any degree conversant with the facts is likely to question the declaration
that it would be a perversion, not to say an inversion, of fact to rate their patriotic devotion to the Union today
lower[Pg 138] than that of any other section of the country or any other class or condition of men.

But there is more, and in a sense worse, to be found along the same general line of evidence touching this
sublimated sentiment of group solidarity that is called nationalism. The nation, of course, is large; the larger
the better, it is believed. It is so large, indeed, that considered as a group or community of men living together
it has no sensible degree of homogeneity in any of their material circumstances or interests; nor is anything
more than an inconsiderable fraction of the aggregate population, territory, industry, or daily life known to
any one of these patriotic citizens except by remote and highly dubious hearsay. The one secure point on
which there is a (constructive) uniformity is the matter of national allegiance; which grows stronger and more
confident with every increase in aggregate mass and volume. It is also not doubtful, e.g., that if the people of
the British Dominions in North America should choose to throw in their national lot with the Union, all
sections and classes, except those whose pecuniary interest in a protective tariff might be conceived to suffer,
would presently welcome them; nor is it doubtful that American nationality would cover the new and larger
aggregate as readily as the old. Much the same will hold true with respect to the other countries colonised
under British auspices. And there is no conclusive reason for drawing the limit of admissible national
extension at that point.

So much, however, is fairly within the possibilities of the calculable future; its realisation would turn in great
measure on the discontinuance of certain outworn or disserviceable institutional arrangements; as, e.g., the

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remnants of a decayed monarchy, and the legally protected[Pg 139] vested interests of certain business
enterprises and of certain office-holding classes. What more and farther might practicably be undertaken in
this way, in the absence of marplot office-holders, office-seekers, sovereigns, priests and monopolistic
business concerns sheltered under national animosities and restraints of trade, would be something not easy to
assign a limit to. All the minor neutrals, that cluster about the North Sea, could unquestionably be drawn into
such a composite nationality, in the absence, or with due disregard, of those classes, families and individuals
whose pecuniary or invidious gain is dependent on or furthered by the existing division of these peoples.

The projected defensive league of neutrals is, in effect, an inchoate coalescence of the kind. Its purpose is the
safeguarding of the common peace and freedom, which is also the avowed purpose and justification of all
those modern nations that have outlived the régime of dynastic ambition and so of enterprise in dominion for
dominion's sake, and have passed into the neutral phase of nationality; or it should perhaps rather be said that
such is the end of endeavour and the warrant of existence and power for these modern national establishments
in so far as they have outlived and repudiated such ambitions of a dynastic or a quasi-dynastic order, and so
have taken their place as intrinsically neutral commonwealths.

It is only in the common defense (or in the defense of the like conditions of life for their fellowmen
elsewhere) that the citizens of such a commonwealth can without shame entertain or put in evidence a spirit of
patriotic solidarity; and it is only by specious and sophistical appeal to the national honour—a conceit
surviving out of the dynastic past—that the populace of such a commonwealth can be stirred to
anything beyond a defense of[Pg 140] their own proper liberties or the liberties of like-minded men
elsewhere, in so far as they are not still imbued with something of the dynastic animus and the chauvinistic
animosities which they have formally repudiated in repudiating the feudalistic principles of the dynastic State.

The "nation," without the bond of dynastic loyalty, is after all a make-shift idea, an episodic half-way station
in the sequence, and loyalty, in any proper sense, to the nation as such is so much of a make-believe, that in
the absence of a common defense to be safeguarded any such patriotic conceit must lose popular assurance
and, with the passing of generations, fall insensibly into abeyance as an archaic affectation. The pressure of
danger from without is necessary to keep the national spirit alert and stubborn, in case the pressure from
within, that comes of dynastic usufruct working for dominion, has been withdrawn. With further extension of
the national boundaries, such that the danger of gratuitous infraction from without grows constantly less
menacing, while the traditional régime of international animosities falls more and more remotely into the
background, the spirit of nationalism is fairly on the way to obsolescence through disuse. In other words, the
nation, as a commonwealth, being a partisan organisation for a defensive purpose, becomes functa officio in
respect of its nationalism and its patriotic ties in somewhat the same measure as the national coalition grows
to such a size that partisanship is displaced by a cosmopolitan security.

Doubtless the falling into abeyance through disuse of so pleasing a virtue as patriotic devotion will seem an
impossibly distasteful consummation; and about tastes there is no disputing, but tastes are mainly creations of
habit. Except for the disquieting name of the thing, there[Pg 141] is today little stands in the way of a
cosmopolitan order of human intercourse unobtrusively displacing national allegiance; except for vested
interests in national offices and international discriminations, and except for those peoples among whom
national life still is sufficiently bound up with dynastic ambition.

In an earlier passage the patriotic spirit has been defined as a sense of partisan solidarity in point of prestige,
and sufficient argument has been spent in confirming the definition and showing its implications. With the
passing of all occasion for a partisan spirit as touches the common good, through coalescence of the parts
between which partisan discrepancies have hitherto been kept up, there would also have passed all legitimate
occasion for or provocation to an intoxication of invidious prestige on national lines,—and there is no
prestige that is not of an invidious nature, that being, indeed, the whole of its nature. He would have to be a
person of praeternatural patriotic sensibilities who could fall into an emotional state by reason of the national

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prestige of such a coalition commonwealth as would be made up, e.g., of the French and English-speaking
peoples, together with those other neutrally and peaceably inclined European communities that are of a
sufficiently mature order to have abjured dynastic ambitions of dominion, and perhaps including the Chinese
people as well. Such a coalition may now fairly be said to be within speaking distance, and with its
consummation, even in the inchoate shape of a defensive league of neutrals, the eventual abeyance of that
national allegiance and national honour that bulks so large in the repertory of current eloquence would also
come in prospect.[Pg 142]

All this is by no means saying that love of country, and of use and wont as it runs in one's home area and
among one's own people, would suffer decay, or even abatement. The provocation to nostalgia would
presumably be as good as ever. It is even conceivable that under such a (contemplated) régime of
unconditional security, attachment to one's own habitat and social circumstances might grow to something
more than is commonly seen in the precarious situation in which the chances of a quiet life are placed today.
But nostalgia is not a bellicose distemper, nor does it make for gratuitous disturbance of peaceable alien
peoples; neither is it the spirit in which men lend themselves to warlike enterprise looking to profitless
dominion abroad. Men make patriotic sacrifices of life and substance in spite of home-sickness rather than by
virtue of it.

The aim of this long digression has been to show that patriotism, of that bellicose kind that seeks satisfaction
in inflicting damage and discomfort on the people of other nations, is not of the essence of human life; that it
is of the nature of habit, induced by circumstances in the past and handed on by tradition and institutional
arrangements into the present; and that men can, without mutilation, divest themselves of it, or perhaps rather
be divested of it by force of circumstances which will set the current of habituation the contrary way.

The change of habituation necessary to bring about such a decay of the bellicose national spirit would appear
to be of a negative order, at least in the main. It would be an habituation to unconditional peace and security;
in other words, to the absence of provocation, rather than a coercive training away from the bellicose temper.
This bellicose temper, as it affects men collectively, appears to[Pg 143] be an acquired trait; and it should
logically disappear in time in the absence of those conditions by impact of which it has been acquired. Such
obsolescence of patriotism, however, would not therefore come about abruptly or swiftly, since the patriotic
spirit has by past use and wont, and by past indoctrination, been so thoroughly worked into the texture of the
institutional fabric and into the commonsense taste and morality, that its effectual obsolescence will involve a
somewhat comprehensive displacement and mutation throughout the range of institutions and popular
conceits that have been handed down. And institutional changes take time, being creations of habit. Yet,
again, there is the qualification to this last, that since the change in question appears to be a matter, not of
acquiring a habit and confirming it in the shape of an article of general use and wont, but of forgetting what
once was learned, the time and experience to be allowed for its decay need logically not equal that required
for its acquirement, either in point of duration or in point of the strictness of discipline necessary to inculcate

While the spirit of nationalism is such an acquired trait, and while it should therefore follow that the chief
agency in divesting men of it must be disuse of the discipline out of which it has arisen, yet a positive, and
even something of a drastic discipline to the contrary effect need not be altogether ineffectual in bringing
about its obsolescence. The case of the Chinese people seems to argue something of the sort. Not that the
Chinese are simply and neutrally unpatriotic; they appear also to be well charged with disloyalty to their alien
rulers. But along with a sense of being on the defensive in their common concerns, there is also the fact that
they appear not to be appreciably patriotic in the proper sense; they[Pg 144] are not greatly moved by a spirit
of nationality. And this failure of the national spirit among them can scarcely be set down to a neutral disuse
of that discipline which has on the other hand induced a militant nationalism in the peoples of Christendom; it
should seem more probable, at least, that this relative absence of a national ambition is traceable in good part
to its having been positively bred out of them by the stern repression of all such aspirations under the

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autocratic rule of their alien masters.

Peace on terms of submission and non-resistance to the ordinary exactions and rulings of those Imperial
authorities to whom such submission may become necessary, then, will be contingent on the virtual abeyance
of the spirit of national pride in the peoples who so are to come under Imperial rule. A sufficient, by no means
necessarily a total, elimination or decadence of this proclivity will be the condition precedent of any
practicable scheme for a general peace on this footing. How large an allowance of such animus these
prospectively subject peoples might still carry, without thereby assuring the defeat of any such plan, would in
great measure depend on the degree of clemency or rigor with which the superior authority might enforce its
rule. It is not that a peace plan of this nature need precisely be considered to fall outside the limits of
possibility, on account of this necessary condition, but it is at the best a manifestly doubtful matter. Advocates
of a negotiated peace should not fail to keep in mind and make public that the plan which they advocate
carries with it, as a sequel or secondary phase, such an unconditional surrender and a consequent régime of
non-resistance, and that there still is grave doubt whether the peoples of these Western nations are at pres[Pg
145]ent in a sufficiently tolerant frame of mind, or can in the calculable future come in for such a tolerantly
neutral attitude in point of national pride, as to submit in any passable fashion to any alien Imperial rule.

If the spiritual difficulty presented by this prevalent spirit of national pride—sufficiently stubborn still,
however inane a conceit it may seem on sober reflection—if this animus of factional insubordination
could be overcome or in some passable measure be conciliated or abated, there is much to be said in favor of
such a plan of peaceable submission to an extraneous and arbitrary authority, and therefore also for that plan
of negotiated peace by means of which events would be put in train for its realisation.

Any passably dispassionate consideration of the projected régime will come unavoidably to the conclusion
that the prospectively subject peoples should have no legitimate apprehension of loss or disadvantage in the
material respect. It is, of course, easy for an unreflecting person to jump to the conclusion that subjection to an
alien power must bring grievous burdens, in the way of taxes and similar impositions. But reflection will
immediately show that no appreciable increase, over the economic burdens already carried by the populace
under their several national establishments, could come of such a move.

As bearing on this question it is well to call to mind that the contemplated imperial dominion is designed to be
very wide-reaching and with very ample powers. Its nearest historical analogue, of course, is the Roman
imperial dominion—in the days of the Antonines—and that the nearest analogue to the projected
German peace is the Roman peace, in the days of its best security. There is every warrant for the presumption
that the contem[Pg 146]plated Imperial dominion is to be substantially all-inclusive. Indeed there is no
stopping place for the projected enterprise short of an all-inclusive dominion. And there will consequently be
no really menacing outside power to be provided against. Consequently there will be but little provision
necessary for the common defense, as compared, e.g., with the aggregate of such provision found necessary
for self-defense on the part of the existing nations acting in severalty and each jealously guarding its own
national integrity. Indeed, compared with the burden of competitive armament to which the peoples of Europe
have been accustomed, the need of any armed force under the new régime should be an inconsiderable matter,
even when there is added to the necessary modicum of defensive preparation the more imperative and
weightier provision of force with which to keep the peace at home.

Into the composition of this necessary modicum of armed force slight if any contingents of men would be
drawn from the subject peoples, for the reason that no great numbers would be needed; as also because no
devoted loyalty to the dynasty could reasonably be looked for among them, even if no positive insecurity were
felt to be involved in their employment. On this head the projected scheme unambiguously commends itself as
a measure of economy, both in respect of the pecuniary burdens demanded and as regards the personal
annoyance of military service.

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As a further count, it is to be presumed that the burden of the Imperial government and its bureaucratic
administration—what would be called the cost of maintenance and repairs of the dynastic establishment
and its apparatus of control—would be borne by the subject peoples. Here again one is warranted in
looking for a sub[Pg 147]stantial economy to be effected by such a centralised authority, and a consequent
lighter aggregate burden on the subjects. Doubtless, the "overhead charges" would not be reduced to their
practicable minimum. Such a governmental establishment, with its bureaucratic personnel, its "civil list" and
its privileged classes, would not be conducted on anything like a parsimonious footing. There is no reason to
apprehend any touch of modesty in the exactions of such a dynastic establishment for itself or in behalf of its
underlying hierarchy of gentlefolk.

There is also to be counted in, in the concrete instance on which the argument here turns, a more or less
considerable burden of contributions toward the maintenance and augmentation of that culture that has been
the topic of so many encomiums. At this point it should be recalled that it is the pattern of Periclean Athens
that is continually in mind in these encomiums. Which brings up, in this immediate connection, the dealings
of Periclean Athens with the funds of the League, and the source as well as the destination of these surplus
funds. Out of it all came the works on the Acropolis, together with much else of intellectual and artistic life
that converged upon and radiated from this Athenian center of culture. The vista of Denkmäler that so opens
to the vision of a courageous fancy is in itself such a substance of things hoped for as should stir the heart of
all humane persons.[8] The cost of this subvention of Culture would doubtless be appreciable, but those grave
men who have spent most thought on this prospective cultural gain to be had from the projected Imperial rule
appear to entertain no doubt as to its being worth all that it would cost.[Pg 148]

Any one who is inclined to rate the prospective pecuniary costs and losses high would doubtless be able to
find various and sundry items of minor importance to add to this short list of general categories on the side of
cost; but such additional items, not fairly to be included under these general captions, would after all be of
minor importance, in the aggregate or in detail, and would not appreciably affect the grand balance of
pecuniary profit and loss to be taken account of in any appraisal of the projected Imperial régime. There
should evidently be little ground to apprehend that its installation would entail a net loss or a net increase of
pecuniary burdens. There is, of course, the ill-defined and scarcely definable item of expenditure under the
general head of Gentility, Dignity, Distinction, Magnificence, or whatever term may seem suitable to
designate that consumption of goods and services that goes to maintain the high repute of the Court and to
keep the underlying gentlefolk in countenance. In its pecuniary incidence this line of (necessary) expenditure
belongs under the rubric of Conspicuous Waste; and one will always have to face the disquieting flexibility of
this item of expenditure. The consumptive demand of this kind is in an eminent degree "indefinitely
extensible," as the phrasing of the economists would have it, and as various historical instances of courtly
splendor and fashionable magnificence will abundantly substantiate. There is a constant proclivity to advance
this conventional "standard of living" to the limit set by the available means; and yet these conventional
necessities will ordinarily not, in the aggregate, take up all the available means; although now and again, as
under the Ancien Régime, and perhaps in Imperial Rome, the standard of splendid living may also exceed the
current means in[Pg 149] hand and lead to impoverishment of the underlying community.

An analysis of the circumstances governing this flexibility of the conventional standard of living and of
pecuniary magnificence can not be gone into here. In the case under consideration it will have to be left as an
indeterminate but considerable item in the burden of cost which the projected Imperial rule may be counted on
to impose on the underlying peoples. The cost of the Imperial court, nobility, and civil service, therefore,
would be a matter of estimate, on which no close agreement would be expected; and yet, here as in an earlier
connection, it seems a reasonable expectation that sufficient dignity and magnificence could be put in
evidence by such a large-scale establishment at a lower aggregate cost than the aggregate of expenditures
previously incurred for the like ends by various nations working in severalty and at cross purposes.

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Doubtless it would be altogether a mistaken view of this production of dignity by means of a lavish
expenditure on superfluities, to believe that the same principle of economy should apply here as was found
applicable in the matter of armament for defense. With the installation of a collective national establishment,
to include substantially all the previously competing nations, the need of defensive armament should in all
reason decline to something very inconsiderable indeed. But it would be hasty to conclude that with the
coalescence of these nations under one paramount control the need of creating notoriety and prestige for this
resulting central establishment by the consumption of decorative superfluities would likewise decline. The
need of such dignity and magnificence is only in part, perhaps a minor part, of a defensive character. For
the[Pg 150] greater part, no doubt, the motive to this conspicuously wasteful consumption is personal vanity,
in Imperial policy as well as in the private life of fashion,—or perhaps one should more deferentially
say that it is a certain range of considerations which would be identified as personal vanity in case they were
met with among men beneath the Imperial level. And so far as the creation of this form of "good-will" by this
manner of advertising is traceable to such, or equivalent, motives of a personal incidence, the provocation to
economy along this line would presumably not be a notable factor in the case. And one returns perforce to the
principle already spoken of above, that the consumptive need of superfluities is indefinitely extensible, with
the resulting inference that nothing conclusive is to be said as to the prospective magnitude of this item in the
Imperial bill of expense, or of the consequent pecuniary burdens which it would impose on the underlying

So far the argument has run on the pecuniary incidence of this projected Imperial dominion as it falls on the
underlying community as a whole, with no attempt to discriminate between the divergent interests of the
different classes and conditions of men that go to make up any modern community. The question in hand is a
question of pecuniary burdens, and therefore of the pecuniary interests of these several distinguishable classes
or conditions of men. In all these modern nations that now stand in the article of decision between peace by
submission or a doubtful and melancholy alternative,—in all of them men are by statute and custom
inviolably equal before the law, of course; they are ungraded and masterless men before the law. But these
same peoples are also alike[Pg 151] in the respect that pecuniary duties and obligations among them are
similarly sacred and inviolable under the dispassionate findings of the law. This pecuniary equality is, in
effect, an impersonal equality between pecuniary magnitudes; from which it follows that these citizens of the
advanced nations are not ungraded men in the pecuniary respect; nor are they masterless, in so far as a greater
pecuniary force will always, under this impersonal equality of the law, stand in a relation of mastery toward a
lesser one.

Class distinctions, except pecuniary distinctions, have fallen away. But all these modern nations are made up
of pecuniary classes, differing from one another by minute gradations in the marginal cases, but falling, after
all, and in the large, into two broadly and securely distinguishable pecuniary categories: those who have more
and those who have less. Statisticians have been at pains to ascertain that a relatively very small numerical
minority of the citizens in these modern nations own all but a relatively very small proportion of the aggregate
wealth in the country. So that it appears quite safe to say that in such a country as America, e.g., something
less than ten percent of the inhabitants own something more than ninety percent of the country's wealth. It
would scarcely be a wild overstraining of its practical meaning to say that this population is made up of two
classes: those who own the country's wealth, and those who do not. In strict accuracy, as before the law, this
characterisation will not hold; whereas in practical effect, it is a sufficiently close approximation. This latter
class, who have substantially no other than a fancied pecuniary interest in the nation's material fortunes, are
the category often spoken of as The Common Man. It is not necessary, nor is it desired,[Pg 152] to find a
corresponding designation for the other category, those who own.

The articulate recognition of this division into contrasted pecuniary classes or conditions, with
correspondingly (at least potentially) divergent pecuniary interests, need imply no degree of approval or
disapproval of the arrangement which is so recognised. The recognition of it is necessary to a perspicuous
control of the argument, as bears on the possible systematic and inherent discrepancy among these men in

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respect of their material interests under the projected Imperial rule. Substantially, it is a distinction between
those who have and those who have not, and in a question of prospective pecuniary loss the man who has
nothing to lose is differently placed from the one who has. It would perhaps seem flippant, and possibly
lacking in the courtesy due one's prospective lord paramount, to say with the poet, Cantabit vacuus coram
latrone viator.

But the whole case is not so simple. It is only so long as the projected pecuniary inroad is conceived as a
simple sequestration of wealth in hand, that such a characterisation can be made to serve. The Imperial aim is
not a passing act of pillage, but a perpetual usufruct; and the whole question takes on a different and more
complex shape when it so touches the enduring conditions of life and livelihood. The citizen who has nothing,
or who has no capitalisable source of unearned income, yet has a pecuniary interest in a livelihood to be
gained from day to day, and he is yet vulnerable in the pecuniary respect in that his livelihood may with the
utmost facility be laid under contribution by various and sundry well-tried contrivances. Indeed, the common
man who depends for his livelihood on his daily earnings is in a more immediately[Pg 153] precarious
position than those who have something appreciable laid up against a rainy day, in the shape of a capitalised
source of income. Only that it is still doubtful if his position is precarious in such a fashion as to lay him open
to a notable increase of hardship, or to loss of the amenities of life, in the same relative degree as his
well-to-do neighbour.

In point of fact it may well be doubted if this common man has anything to apprehend in the way of added
hardship or loss of creature comforts under the contemplated régime of Imperial tutelage. He would
presumably find himself in a precarious case under the arbitrary and irresponsible authority of an alien master
working through an alien master class. The doubt which presents itself is as to whether this common man
would be more precariously placed, or would come in for a larger and surer sum of hard usage and scant
living, under this projected order of things, than what he already is exposed to in his pecuniary relations with
his well-to-do compatriots under the current system of law and order.

Under this current régime of law and order, according to the equitable principles of Natural Rights, the man
without means has no pecuniary rights which his well-to-do pecuniary master is bound to respect. This may
have been an unintended, as it doubtless was an unforeseen, outcome of the move out of feudalism and
prescriptive rights and immunities, into the system of individual liberty and manhood franchise; but as
commonly happens in case of any substantial change in the scheme of institutional arrangements, unforeseen
consequences come in along with those that have been intended. In that period of history when Western
Europe was gathering that experience out of which the current habitual scheme[Pg 154] of law and order has
come, the right of property and free contract was a complement and safeguard to that individual initiative and
masterless equality of men for which the spokesmen of the new era contended. That it is no longer so at every
turn, or even in the main, in later time, is in great part due to changes of the pecuniary order, that have come
on since then, and that seem not to have cast their shadow before.

In all good faith, and with none but inconsequential reservations, the material fortunes of modern civilised
men—together with much else—have so been placed on a pecuniary footing, with little to
safeguard them at any point except the inalienable right of pecuniary self-direction and initiative, in an
environment where virtually all the indispensable means of pecuniary self-direction and initiative are in the
hands of that contracted category of owners spoken of above. A numerical minority—under ten percent
of the population—constitutes a conclusive pecuniary majority—over ninety percent of the
means—under a system of law and order that turns on the inalienable right of owners to dispose of the
means in hand as may suit their convenience and profit,—always barring recourse to illegal force or
fraud. There is, however, a very appreciable margin of legal recourse to force and of legally protected fraud
available in case of need. Of course the expedients here referred to as legally available force and fraud in the
defense of pecuniary rights and the pursuit of pecuniary gain are not force and fraud de jure but only de facto.
They are further, and well known, illustrations of how the ulterior consequences of given institutional

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arrangements and given conventionalised principles (habits of thought) of conduct may in time come to run at
cross purposes with the initial purpose[Pg 155] that led to the acceptance of these institutions and to the
confirmation and standardisation of these habitual norms of conduct. For the time being, however, they are
"fundamentally and eternally right and good."

Being a pecuniary majority—what may be called a majority of the corporate stock—of the
nation, it is also fundamentally and eternally right and good that the pecuniary interests of the owners of the
material means of life should rule unabated in all those matters of public policy that touch on the material
fortunes of the community at large. Barring a slight and intermittent mutter of discontent, this arrangement
has also the cordial approval of popular sentiment in these modern democratic nations. One need only recall
the paramount importance which is popularly attached to the maintenance and extension of the nation's
trade—for the use of the investors—or the perpetuation of a protective tariff—for the use
of the protected business concerns—or, again, the scrupulous regard with which such a body of public
servants as the Interstate Commerce Commission will safeguard the legitimate claim of the railway companies
to a "reasonable" rate of earnings on the capitalised value of the presumed earning-capacity of their property.

Again, in view of the unaccustomed freedom with which it is here necessary to speak of these delicate
matters, it may be in place to disclaim all intention to criticise the established arrangements on their merits as
details of public policy. All that comes in question here, touching these and the like features of the established
law and order, is the bearing of all this on the material fortunes of the common man under the current régime,
as contrasted with what he would reasonably have to look for[Pg 156] under the projected régime of Imperial
tutelage that would come in, consequent upon this national surrender to Imperial dominion.

In these democratic countries public policy is guided primarily by considerations of business expediency, and
the administration, as well as the legislative power, is in the hands of businessmen, chosen avowedly on the
ground of their businesslike principles and ability. There is no power in such a community that can over-rule
the exigencies of business, nor would popular sentiment countenance any exercise of power that should
traverse these exigencies, or that would act to restrain trade or discourage the pursuit of gain. An apparent
exception to the rule occurs in wartime, when military exigencies may over-rule the current demands of
business traffic; but the exception is in great part only apparent, in that the warlike operations are undertaken
in whole or in part with a view to the protection or extension of business traffic.

National surveillance and regulation of business traffic in these countries hitherto, ever since and in so far as
the modern democratic order of things has taken effect, has uniformly been of the nature of interference with
trade and investment in behalf of the nation's mercantile community at large, as seen in port and shipping
regulations and in the consular service, or in behalf of particular favored groups or classes of business
concerns, as in protective tariffs and subsidies. In all this national management of pecuniary affairs, under
modern democratic principles, the common man comes into the case only as raw material of business
traffic,—as consumer or as laborer. He is one of the industrial agencies by use of which the
businessman who employs him supplies himself with[Pg 157] goods for the market, or he is one of the units
of consumptive demand that make up this market in which the business man sells his goods, and so "realises"
on his investment. He is, of course, free, under modern principles of the democratic order, to deal or not to
deal with this business community, whether as laborer or as consumer, or as small-scale producer engaged in
purveying materials or services on terms defined by the community of business interests engaged on so large a
scale as to count in their determination. That is to say, he is free de jure to take or leave the terms offered. De
facto he is only free to take them—with inconsequential exceptions—the alternative being
obsolescence by disuse, not to choose a harsher name for a distasteful eventuality.

The general ground on which the business system, as it works under the over-ruling exigencies of the
so-called "big business," so defines the terms of life for the common man, who works and buys, is the ground

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afforded by the principle of "charging what the traffic will bear;" that is to say, fixing the terms of hiring,
buying and selling at such a figure as will yield the largest net return to the business concerns in whom,
collectively or in severalty, the discretion vests. Discretion in these premises does not vest in any business
concern that does not articulate with the system of "big business," or that does not dispose of resources
sufficient to make it a formidable member of the system. Whether these concerns act in severalty or by
collusion and conspiracy, in so defining the pecuniary terms of life for the community at large, is substantially
an idle question, so far as bears on the material interest of the common man. The base-line is still what the
traffic will bear, and it is still adhered to, so nearly as the human infirmity of the discretionary captains of
industry will[Pg 158] admit, whether the due approximation to this base-line is reached by a process of
competitive bidding or by collusive advisement.

The generalisation so offered, touching the material conditions of life for the common man under the modern
rule of big business, may seem unwarrantably broad. It may be worth while to take note of more than one
point in qualification of it, chiefly to avoid the appearance of having overlooked any of the material
circumstances of the case. The "system" of large business, working its material consequences through the
system of large-scale industry, but more particularly by way of the large-scale and wide-reaching business of
trade in the proper sense, draws into the net of its control all parts of the community and all its inhabitants, in
some degree of dependence. But there is always, hitherto, an appreciable fraction of the
inhabitants—as, e.g., outlying agricultural sections that are in a "backward" state—who are by
no means closely bound in the orderly system of business, or closely dependent on the markets. They may be
said to enjoy a degree of independence, by virtue of their foregoing as much as may be of the advantages
offered by modern industrial specialisation. So also there are the minor and interstitial trades that are still
carried on by handicraft methods; these, too, are still somewhat loosely held in the fabric of the business
system. There is one thing and another in this way to be taken account of in any exhaustive survey, but the
accounting for them will after all amount to nothing better than a gleaning of remnants and partial exceptions,
such as will in no material degree derange the general proposition in hand.

Again, there runs through the length and breadth of this business community a certain measure of incom[Pg
159]petence or inefficiency of management, as seen from the point of view of the conceivable perfect working
of the system as a whole. It may be due to a slack attention here and there; or to the exigencies of business
strategy which may constrain given business concerns to an occasional attitude of "watchful waiting" in the
hope of catching a rival off his guard; or to a lack of perfect mutual understanding among the discretionary
businessmen, due sometimes to an over-careful guarding of trade secrets or advance information; or, as also
happens, and quite excusably, to a lack of perfect mutual confidence among these businessmen, as to one
another's entire good faith or good-will. The system is after all a competitive one, in the sense that each of the
discretionary directors of business is working for his own pecuniary gain, whether in cooperation with his
fellows or not. "An honest man will bear watching." As in other collusive organisations for gain, confederates
are apt to fall out when it comes to a division of what is in hand. In one way and another the system is beset
with inherent infirmities, which hinder its perfect work; and in so far it will fall short of the full realisation of
that rule of business that inculcates charging what the traffic will bear, and also in so far the pressure which
the modern system of business management brings to bear on the common man will also fall short of the last
straw—perhaps even of the next-to-the-last. Again it turns out to be a question not of the failure of the
general proposition as formulated, but rather as to the closeness of approximation to its theoretically perfect
work. It may be remarked by the way that vigilant and impartial surveillance of this system of business
enterprise by an external authority interested only in aggregate results, rather than in the differential gains[Pg
160] of the interested individuals, might hopefully be counted on to correct some of these shortcomings which
the system shows when running loose under the guidance of its own multifarious incentives.

On the opposite side of the account, it is also worth noting that, while modern business management may now
and again fall short of what the traffic will bear, it happens more commonly that its exactions will exceed that
limit. This will particularly be true in businessmen's dealings with hired labour, as also and perhaps with

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equally far-reaching consequences in an excessive recourse to sophistications and adulterants and an
excessively parsimonious provision for the safety, health or comfort of their customers—as, e.g., in
passenger traffic by rail, water or tramway. The discrepancy to which attention is invited here is due to a
discrepancy between business expediency, that is expediency for the purpose of gain by a given businessman,
on the one hand, and serviceability to the common good, on the other hand. The business concern's interest in
the traffic in which it engages is a short-term interest, or an interest in the short-term returns, as contrasted
with the long-term or enduring interest which the community at large has in the public service over which any
such given business concern disposes. The business incentive is that afforded by the prospective net pecuniary
gain from the traffic, substantially an interest in profitable sales; while the community at large, or the common
man that goes to make up such a community, has a material interest in this traffic only as regards the services
rendered and the enduring effects that follow from it.

The businessman has not, or at least is commonly not influenced by, any interest in the ulterior
consequences[Pg 161] of the transactions in which he is immediately engaged. This appears to hold true in an
accentuated degree in the domain of that large-scale business that draws its gains from the large-scale modern
industry and is managed on the modern footing of corporation finance. This modern fashion of business
organisation and management apparently has led to a substantial shortening of the term over which any given
investor maintains an effective interest in any given corporate enterprise, in which his investments may be
placed for the time being. With the current practice of organising industrial and mercantile enterprises on a
basis of vendible securities, and with the nearly complete exemption from personal responsibility and
enduring personal attachment to any one corporate enterprise which this financial expedient has brought, it
has come about that in the common run of cases the investor, as well as the directorate, in any given
enterprise, has an interest only for the time being. The average term over which it is (pecuniarily) incumbent
on the modern businessman to take account of the working of any given enterprise has shortened so far that
the old-fashioned accountability, that once was depended on to dictate a sane and considerate management
with a view to permanent good-will, has in great measure become inoperative.

By and large, it seems unavoidable that the pecuniary interests of the businessmen on the one hand and the
material interests of the community on the other hand are diverging in a more and more pronounced degree,
due to institutional circumstances over which no prompt control can be had without immediate violation of
that scheme of personal rights in which the constitution of modern democratic society is grounded. The
quandary in which these communities find themselves, as an out[Pg 162]come of their entrance upon "the
simple and obvious system of Natural Liberty," is shown in a large and instructive way by what is called
"labor trouble," and in a more recondite but no less convincing fashion by the fortunes of the individual
workman under the modern system.

The cost of production of a modern workman has constantly increased, with the advance of the industrial arts.
The period of preparation, of education and training, necessary to turn out competent workmen, has been
increasing; and the period of full workmanlike efficiency has been shortening, in those industries that employ
the delicate and exacting processes of the modern technology. The shortening of this working-life of the
workman is due both to a lengthening of the necessary period of preparation, and to the demand of these
processes for so full a use of the workman's forces that even the beginning of senescence will count as a
serious disability,—in many occupations as a fatal disability. It is also a well ascertained fact that
effectual old age will be brought on at an earlier period by overwork; overwork shortens the working life-time
of the workman. Thorough speeding-up ("Scientific Management"?) will unduly shorten this working
life-time, and so it may, somewhat readily, result in an uneconomical consumption of the community's
man-power, by consuming the workmen at a higher rate of speed, a higher pressure, with a more rapid rate of
deterioration, than would give the largest net output of product per unit of man-power available, or per unit of
cost of production of such man-power.

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On this head the guiding incentives of the businessman and the material interest of the community at
large—not to speak of the selfish interest of the individual workman[Pg 163]—are
systematically at variance. The cost of production of workmen does not fall on the business concern which
employs them, at least not in such definite fashion as to make it appear that the given business concern or
businessman has a material interest in the economical consumption of the man-power embodied in this given
body of employees. Some slight and exceptional qualification of this statement is to be noted, in those cases
where the processes in use are such as to require special training, not to be had except by a working
habituation to these processes in the particular industrial plant in question. So far as such special training, to
be had only as employees of the given concern, is a necessary part of the workman's equipment for this
particular work, so far the given employer bears a share and an interest in the cost of production of the
workmen employed; and so far, therefore, the employer has also a pecuniary interest in the economical use of
his employees; which usually shows itself in the way of some special precautions being taken to prevent the
departure of these workmen so long as there is a clear pecuniary loss involved in replacing them with men
who have not yet had the special training required. Evidently this qualifying consideration covers no great
proportion of the aggregate man-power consumed in industrial enterprises under business management. And
apart from the instances, essentially exceptional, where such a special consideration comes in, the
businessmen in charge will, quite excusably as things go, endeavour to consume the man-power of which they
dispose in the persons of their employees, not at the rate that would be most economical to the community at
large, in view of the cost of their replacement, nor at such a rate as would best suit the taste or the viability of
the[Pg 164] particular workman, but at such a rate as will yield the largest net pecuniary gain to the employer.

There is on record an illustrative, and indeed an illustrious, instance of such cannily gainful consumption of
man-power carried out systematically and with consistently profitable effect in one of the staple industries of
the country. In this typical, though exceptionally thoroughgoing and lucrative enterprise, the set rule of the
management was, to employ none but select workmen, in each respective line of work; to procure such select
workmen and retain them by offering wages slightly over the ordinary standard; to work them at the highest
pace and pressure attainable with such a picked body; and to discharge them on the first appearance of aging
or of failing powers. In the rules of the management was also included the negative proviso that the concern
assumed no responsibility for the subsequent fortunes of discharged workmen, in the way of pension,
insurance or the like.

This enterprise was highly successful and exceedingly profitable, even beyond the high average of profits
among enterprises in the same line of business. Out of it came one of the greater and more illustrious fortunes
that have been accumulated during the past century; a fortune which has enabled one of the most impressive
and most gracious of this generation's many impressive philanthropists, never weary in well-doing; but who,
through this cannily gainful consumption of man-power, has been placed in the singular position of being
unable, in spite of avowedly unremitting endeavour, to push his continued disbursements in the service of
humanity up to the figure of his current income. The case in question is one of the most meritorious known to
the records of[Pg 165] modern business, and while it will conveniently serve to illustrate many an other, and
perhaps more consequential truth come to realisation in the march of Triumphant Democracy, it will also
serve to show the gainfulness of an unreservedly canny consumption of man-power with an eye single to one's
own net gain in terms of money.

Evidently this is a point in the articulation of the modern economic system where a sufficiently ruthless
outside authority, not actuated by a primary regard for the pecuniary interests of the employers, might
conceivably with good effect enforce a more economical consumption of the country's man-power. It is not a
matter on which one prefers to dwell, but it can do no harm to take note of the fact for once in a way, that
these several national establishments of the democratic order, as they are now organised and administered, do
somewhat uniformly and pervasively operate with an effectual view to the advantage of a class, so far as may
plausibly be done. They are controlled by and administered in behalf of those elements of the population that,
for the purpose in hand, make up a single loose-knit class,—the class that lives by income rather than

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by work. It may be called the class of the business interests, or of capital, or of gentlemen. It all comes to
much the same, for the purpose in hand.

The point in speaking of this contingent whose place in the economy of human affairs it is to consume, or to
own, or to pursue a margin of profit, is simply that of contrasting this composite human contingent with the
common man; whose numbers account for some nine-tenths or more of the community, while his class
accounts for something less than one-tenth of the invested wealth,[Pg 166] and appreciably less than that
proportion of the discretionary national establishment,—the government, national or local, courts,
attorneys, civil service, diplomatic and consular, military and naval. The arrangement may be called a
gentlemen's government, if one would rather have it that way; but a gentleman is necessarily one who lives on
free income from invested wealth—without such a source of free, that is to say unearned, income he
becomes a decayed gentleman. Again, pushing the phrasing back a step farther toward the ground facts, there
are those who would speak of the current establishments as "capitalistic;" but this term is out of line in that it
fails to touch the human element in the case, and institutions, such as governmental establishments and their
functioning, are after all nothing but the accustomed ways and means of human behaviour; so that
"capitalistic" becomes a synonym for "businessmen's" government so soon as it is designated in terms of the
driving incentives and the personnel. It is an organisation had with a view to the needs of business (i.e.
pecuniary) enterprise, and is made up of businessmen and gentlemen, which comes to much the same, since a
gentleman is only a businessman in the second or some later generation. Except for the slightly odious
suggestion carried by the phrase, one might aptly say that the gentleman, in this bearing, is only a
businessman gone to seed.

By and large, and taking the matter naively at the simple face value of the material gain or loss involved, it
should seem something of an idle question to the common man whether his collective affairs are to be
managed by a home-bred line of businessmen and their successive filial generations of gentlemen, with a view
to accelerate the velocity and increase the volume of com[Pg 167]petitive gain and competitive spending, on
the one hand, or by an alien line of officials, equally aloof from his common interests, and managing affairs
with a view to the usufruct of his productive powers in furtherance of the Imperial dominion.

Not that the good faith or the generous intentions of these governments of gentlemen is questioned or is in any
degree questionable; what is here spoken of is only the practical effect of the policies which they pursue,
doubtless with benevolent intentions and well-placed complacency. In effect, things being as they are today in
the civilised world's industry and trade, it happens, as in some sort an unintended but all-inclusive accident,
that the guidance of affairs by business principles works at cross purposes with the material interests of the
common man.

So ungraceful a view of the sacred core of this modern democratic organisation will need whatever evidence
can be cited to keep it in countenance. Therefore indulgence is desired for one further count in this distasteful
recital of ineptitudes inherent in this institutional scheme of civilised life. This count comes under the head of
what may be called capitalistic sabotage. "Sabotage" is employed to designate a wilful retardation,
interruption or obstruction of industry by peaceable, and ordinarily by legally defensible, measures. In its
present application, particularly, there is no design to let the term denote or insinuate a recourse to any
expedients or any line of conduct that is in any degree legally dubious, or that is even of questionable

Sabotage so understood, as not comprising recourse to force or fraud, is a necessary and staple expedient of
business management, and its employment is grounded in[Pg 168] the elementary and indefeasible rights of
ownership. It is simply that the businessman, like any other owner, is vested with the right freely to use or not
to use his property for any given purpose. His decision, for reasons of his own, not to employ the property at
his disposal in a particular way at a particular time, is well and blamelessly within his legitimate discretion,
under the rights of property as universally accepted and defended by modern nations. In the particular instance

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of the American nation he is protected in this right by a constitutional provision that he must not be deprived
of his property without due process of law. When the property at his disposal is in the shape of industrial plant
or industrial material, means of transportation or stock of goods awaiting distribution, then his decision not to
employ this property, or to limit its use to something less than full capacity, in the way for which it is adapted,
becomes sabotage, normally and with negligible exceptions. In so doing he hinders, retards or obstructs the
working of the country's industrial forces by so much. It is a matter of course and of absolute necessity to the
conduct of business, that any discretionary businessman must be free to deal or not to deal in any given case;
to limit or to withhold the equipment under his control, without reservation. Business discretion and business
strategy, in fact, has no other means by which to work out its aims. So that, in effect, all business sagacity
reduces itself in the last analysis to a judicious use of sabotage. Under modern conditions of large business,
particularly, the relation of the discretionary businessman to industry is that of authoritative permission and of
authoritative limitation or stoppage, and on his shrewd use of this authority depends the gainfulness of his
enterprise.[Pg 169]

If this authority were exercised with an eye single to the largest and most serviceable output of goods and
services, or to the most economical use of the country's material resources and man-power, regardless of
pecuniary consequences, the course of management so carried out would be not sabotage but industrial
strategy. But business is carried on for pecuniary gain, not with an unreserved view to the largest and most
serviceable output or to the economical use of resources. The volume and serviceability of the output must
wait unreservedly on the very particular pecuniary question of what quantity and what degree of serviceability
will yield the largest net return in terms of price. Uneconomical use of equipment, labor and resources is
necessarily an everyday matter under these circumstances, as in the duplication of plant and processes
between rival concerns, and in the wasteful use of all resources that do not involve expenditure on the part of
the given concern.

It has been the traditional dogma among economists and publicists in these modern communities that free
competition between the businessmen in charge will indefeasibly act to bring the productiveness of industry to
the highest practicable pitch and would lead to the most unreserved and vigilant endeavour to serve the
community's material needs at all points. The reasons for the failure of this genial expectation, particularly
under latterday business management, might be shown in some detail, if that were needed to enforce the
argument as it runs in the present connection. But a summary indication of the commoner varieties and effects
of sabotage as it is systematically applied in the businesslike conduct of industry will serve the purpose as
well and with less waste of words and patience.[Pg 170]

It is usual to notice, and not unusual to deplore the duplication of plant and appliances in many lines of
industry, due to competitive management, as in factories engaged in the same class of manufacture, in parallel
or otherwise competing railways and boat lines, in retail merchandising, and in some degree also in the
wholesale trade. The result, of course, is sabotage; in the sense that this volume of appliances, materials and
workmen are not employed to the best advantage for the community. One effect of the arrangement is an
increased necessary cost of the goods and services supplied by these means. The reason for it is competition
for gain to be got from the traffic. That all this is an untoward state of things is recognised on all hands; but no
lively regret is commonly spent on the matter, since it is commonly recognised that under the circumstances
there is no help for it except at the cost of a more untoward remedy.

The competitive system having been tried and found good—or at least so it is assumed—it is felt
that the system will have to be accepted with the defects of its qualities. Its characteristic qualities are held to
be good, acceptable to the tastes of modern men whose habits of thought have been standardised in its terms;
and it would be only reluctantly and by tardy concession that these modern men could bring themselves to
give up that scheme of "Natural Liberty" within the framework of which runs this competitive system of
business management and its wasteful manifolding of half-idle equipment and nugatory work. The common
man, at the worst, comforts himself and his neighbour with the sage reflection that "It might have been

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worse." The businessmen, on the other hand, have also begun to take note of this[Pg 171] systematic waste by
duplication and consequent incompetence, and have taken counsel how to intercept the waste and divert it to
their own profit. The businessmen's remedy is consolidation of competing concerns, and monopoly control.

To the common man, with his preconceptions on the head of "restraint of trade," the proposed remedy seems
more vicious than the evil it is designed to cure. The fault of the remedy plainly is not that the
mismanagement of affairs due to competitive business can not be corrected by recourse to monopoly, but only
that the community, it is presumed, would still suffer all the burdens and discomforts of the régime of
competition and sabotage, with, possibly, further inconveniences and impositions at the hands of the
businesslike monopoly; which, men are agreed, may fairly be depended on to use its advantage unsparingly
under the business principle of charging what the traffic will bear.

There is also this other singular phenomenon in this modern industrial world, that something not very far short
of one-half the industrial equipment systematically lies idle for something approaching one-half the time, or is
worked only to one-half its capacity half the time; not because of competition between these several industrial
concerns, but because business conditions will not allow its continued productive use; because the volume of
product that would be turned out if the equipment were working uninterruptedly at its full capacity could not
be sold at remunerative prices. From time to time one establishment and another will shut down during a
period of slack times, for the same reason.

This state of things is singular only as seen from the point of view of the community's material interest, not[Pg
172] that it is in any degree unfamiliar or that any serious fault is found with the captains of industry for so
shutting off the industrial process and letting the industrial equipment lie waste. As all men know, the
exigencies of business will not tolerate production to supply the community's needs under these
circumstances; although, as is equally notorious, these slack times, when production of goods is unadvisable
on grounds of business expediency, are commonly times of wide-spread privation, "hard times," in the
community at large, when the failure of the supply is keenly felt.

It is not that the captains of industry are at fault in so failing, or refusing, to supply the needs of the
community under these circumstances, but only that they are helpless under the exigencies of business. They
can not supply the goods except for a price, indeed not except for a remunerative price, a price which will add
something to the capital values which they are venturing in their various enterprises. So long as the exigencies
of price and of pecuniary gain rule the case, there is manifestly no escaping this enforced idleness of the
country's productive forces.

It may not be out of place also to remark, by way of parenthesis, that this highly productive state of the
industrial arts, which is embodied in the industrial plant and processes that so are systematically and advisedly
retarded or arrested under the rule of business, is at the same time the particular pride of civilised men and the
most tangible achievement of the civilised world.

A conservative estimate of this one item of capitalistic sabotage could scarcely appraise it at less than a
twenty-five percent reduction from the normally possible productive capacity of the community, at an average
over[Pg 173] any considerable period; and a somewhat thorough review of the pertinent facts would probably
persuade any impartial observer that, one year with another, such businesslike enforced idleness of plant and
personnel lowers the actual output of the country's industry by something nearer fifty percent of its ordinary
capacity when fully employed. To many, such an assertion may seem extravagant, but with further reflection
on the well-known facts in the case it will seem less so in proportion as the unfamiliarity of it wears off.

However, the point of attention in the case is not the precise, nor the approximate, percentages of this arrest
and retardation, this partial neutralisation of modern improvements in the industrial arts; it is only the
notorious fact that such arrest occurs, systematically and advisedly, under the rule of business exigencies, and

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that there is no corrective to be found for it that will comport with those fundamental articles of the
democratic faith on which the businessmen necessarily proceed. Any effectual corrective would break the
framework of democratic law and order, since it would have to traverse the inalienable right of men who are
born free and equal, each freely to deal or not to deal in any pecuniary conjuncture that arises.

But it is at the same time plain enough that this, in the larger sense untoward, discrepancy between productive
capacity and current productive output can readily be corrected, in some appreciable degree at least, by any
sufficient authority that shall undertake to control the country's industrial forces without regard to pecuniary
profit and loss. Any authority competent to take over the control and regulate the conduct of the community's
industry with a view to maximum output as counted by[Pg 174] weight and tale, rather than by net aggregate
price-income over price-cost, can readily effect an appreciable increase in the effectual productive capacity;
but it can be done only by violating that democratic order of things within which business enterprise runs. The
several belligerent nations of Europe are showing that it can be done, that the sabotage of business enterprise
can be put aside by sufficiently heroic measures. And they are also showing that they are all aware, and have
always been aware, that the conduct of industry on business principles is incompetent to bring the largest
practicable output of goods and services; incompetent to such a degree, indeed, as not to be tolerable in a
season of desperate need, when the nation requires the full use of its productive forces, equipment and
man-power, regardless of the pecuniary claims of individuals.

Now, the projected Imperial dominion is a power of the character required to bring a sufficient corrective to
bear, in case of need, on this democratic situation in which the businessmen in charge necessarily manage the
country's industry at cross purposes with the community's—that is the common man's—material
interest. It is an extraneous power, to whom the continued pecuniary gain of these nations' businessmen is a
minor consideration, a negligible consideration in case it shall appear that the Imperial usufruct of the
underlying nation's productive forces is in any degree impaired by the businessmen's management of it for
their own net gain. It is difficult to see on what grounds of self-interest such an Imperial government could
consent to tolerate the continued management of these underlying nations' industries on business principles,
that is to say on the principle of the[Pg 175] maximum pecuniary gain to the businesslike managers; and
recent experience seems to teach that no excessive, that is to say no inconvenient, degree of consideration for
vested rights, and the like, would long embarrass the Imperial government in its administration of its usufruct.

It should be a reasonable expectation that, without malice and with an unprejudiced view to its own usufruct
of these underlying countries, the Imperial establishment would take due care that no systematically, and in its
view gratuitously, uneconomical methods should continue in the ordinary conduct of their industry. Among
other considerations of weight in this connection is the fact that a contented, well-fed, and not wantonly
over-worked populace is a valuable asset in such a case. Similarly, by contraries, as an asset in usufruct to
such an alien power, a large, wealthy, spendthrift, body of gentlefolk, held in high esteem by the common
people, would have but a slight value, conceivably even a negative value, in such a case. A wise
administration would presumably look to their abatement, rather than otherwise. At this point the material
interest of the common man would seem to coincide with that of the Imperial establishment. Still, his
preconceived notions of the wisdom and beneficence of his gentlefolk would presumably hinder his seeing the
matter in that reasonable light.

Under the paramount surveillance of such an alien power, guided solely by its own interest in the usufruct of
the country and its population, it is to be presumed that class privileges and discrimination would be greatly
abated if not altogether discontinued. The point is in some doubt, partly because this alien establishment
whose dominion is in question is itself grounded in class prerogatives and discrimination, and so, not
improbably,[Pg 176] it would carry over into its supervision of the underlying nations something of a bias in
favor of class privileges. And a similar order of things might also result by choice of a class-system as a
convenient means of control and exploitation. The latter consideration is presumably the more cogent, since
the Imperial establishment in question is already, by ancient habit, familiar with the method of control by

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class and privilege; and, indeed, unfamiliar with any other method. Such a government, which governs
without effectual advice or formal consent of the governed, will almost necessarily rest its control of the
country on an interested class, of sufficient strength and bound by sufficiently grave interest to abet the
Imperial establishment effectually in all its adventures and enterprises.

But such a privileged order, that is to be counted in to share dynastic usufruct and liabilities, in good days and
evil, will be of a feudalistic complexion rather than something after the fashion of a modern business
community doing business by investment and pecuniary finesse. It would still be a reasonable expectation that
discrimination between pecuniary classes should fall away under this projected alien tutelage; more
particularly all such discrimination as is designed to benefit any given class or interest at the cost of the whole,
as, e.g., protective tariffs, monopolistic concessions and immunities, engrossing of particular lines of material
resources, and the like.

The character of the economic policy to be pursued should not be difficult of apprehension, if only these
underlying peoples are conceived as an estate in tail within the dynastic line of descent. The Imperial
establishment which so is prospectively to take over the surveillance of these modern peoples under this
projected enterprise[Pg 177] in dominion, may all the more readily be conceived as handling its new and
larger resources somewhat unreservedly as an estate to be administered with a shrewd eye to the main chance,
since such has always been its relation to the peoples and territories whose usufruct it already enjoys. It is only
that the circumstances of the case will admit a freer and more sagacious application of those principles of
usufruct that lie at the root of the ancient Culture of the Fatherland.

This excessively long, and yet incomplete, review of the presumptive material advantages to accrue to the
common man under a régime of peace by unconditional surrender to an alien dynasty, brings the argument
apparently to the conclusion that such an eventuality might be fortunate rather than the reverse; or at least that
it has its compensations, even if it is not something to be desired. Such should particularly appear to be the
presumption in case one is at all inclined to make much of the cultural gains to be brought in under the new
régime. And more particularly should a policy of non-resistant submission to the projected new order seem
expedient in view of the exceedingly high, not to say prohibitive, cost of resistance, or even of materially
retarding its fulfillment.[Pg 178]


Peace and Neutrality

Considered simply on the face of the tangible material interests involved, the choice of the common man in
these premises should seem very much of a foregone conclusion, if he could persuade himself to a sane and
perspicuous consideration of these statistically apparent merits of the case alone. It is at least safely to be
presumed that he has nothing to lose, in a material way, and there is reason to look for some slight gain in
creature comforts and in security of life and limb, consequent upon the elimination, or at least the partial
disestablishment, of pecuniary necessity as the sole bond and criterion of use and wont in economic concerns.

But man lives not by bread alone. In point of fact, and particularly as touches the springs of action among that
common run that do not habitually formulate their aspirations and convictions in extended and grammatically
defensible documentary form, and the drift of whose impulses therefore is not masked or deflected by the
illusive consistencies of set speech,—as touches the common run, particularly, it will hold true with
quite an unacknowledged generality that the material means of life are, after all, means only; and that when
the question of what things are worth while is brought to the final test, it is not these means, nor the life
conditioned on these means, that are seen to serve as the decisive criterion; but always[Pg 179] it is some
ulterior, immaterial end, in the pursuit of which these material means find their ulterior ground of valuation.

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Neither the overt testimony nor the circumstantial evidence to this effect is unequivocal; but seen in due
perspective, and regard being had chiefly to the springs of concerted action as shown in any massive
movement of this common run of mankind, there is, after all, little room to question that the things which
commend themselves as indefeasibly worth while are the things of the human spirit.

These ideals, aspirations, aims, ends of endeavour, are by no means of a uniform or homogeneous character
throughout the modern communities, still less throughout the civilised world, or throughout the checkered
range of classes and conditions of men; but, with such frequency and amplitude that it must be taken as a
major premise in any attempted insight into human behaviour, it will hold true that they are of a spiritual,
immaterial nature.

The caution may, parenthetically, not be out of place, that this characterisation of the ulterior springs of action
as essentially not of the nature of creature comforts, need be taken in no wider extension than that which so is
specifically given it. It will be found to apply as touches the conduct of the common run; what modification of
it might be required to make it at all confidently applicable to the case of one and another of those classes into
whose scheme of life creature comforts enter with more pronounced effect may be more of a delicate point.
But since it is the behaviour, and the grounds of behaviour, of the common run that are here in question, the
case of their betters in this respect may conveniently be left on one side.[Pg 180]

The question in hand touches the behavior of the common man, taken in the aggregate, in face of the quandary
into which circumstances have led him; since the question of what these modern peoples will do is after all a
question of what the common man in the aggregate will do, of his own motion or by persuasion. His betters
may be in a position to guide, persuade, cajole, mislead, and victimise him; for among the many singular
conceits that beset the common man is the persuasion that his betters are in some way better than he, wiser,
more beneficent. But the course that may so be chosen, with or without guidance or persuasion from the
superior classes, as well as the persistence and energy with which this course is pursued, is conditioned on the
frame of mind of the common run.

Just what will be the nature and the concrete expression of these ideal aspirations that move the common run
is a matter of habitual preconceptions; and habits of thought vary from one people to another according to the
diversity of experience to which they have been exposed. Among the Western nations the national prestige
has come to seem worth while as an ulterior end, perhaps beyond all else that is comprised in the secular
scheme of things desirable to be had or to be achieved. And in the apprehension of such of them as have best
preserved the habits of thought induced by a long experience in feudal subjection, the service of the sovereign
or the dynasty still stands over as the substantial core of the cultural scheme, upon which sentiment and
endeavour converge. In the past ages of the democratic peoples, as well as in the present-day use and wont
among subjects of the dynastic States—as e.g., Japan or Germany—men are known to have
resolutely risked, and lost, their life for[Pg 181] the sake of the sovereign's renown, or even to save the
sovereign's life; whereas, of course, even the slightest and most nebulous reflection would make it manifest
that in point of net material utility the sovereign's decease is an idle matter as compared with the loss of an
able-bodied workman. The sovereign may always be replaced, with some prospect of public advantage, or
failing that, it should be remarked that a regency or inter-regnum will commonly be a season of relatively
economical administration. Again, religious enthusiasm, and the furtherance of religious propaganda, may
come to serve the same general purpose as these secular ideals, and will perhaps serve it just as well. Certain
"principles," of personal liberty and of opportunity for creative self-direction and an intellectually worthy life,
perhaps may also become the idols of the people, for which they will then be willing to risk their material
fortune; and where this has happened, as among the democratic peoples of Christendom, it is not selfishly for
their own personal opportunity to live untroubled under the light of these high principles that these
opinionated men are ready to contend, but rather impersonally for the human right which under these
principles is the due of all mankind, and particularly of the incoming and of later generations.

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On these and the like intangible ends the common man is set with such inveterate predilection that he will, on
provocation, stick at nothing to put the project through. For such like ends the common man will lay down his
life; at least, so they say. There may always be something of rhetorical affectation in it all; but, after all, there
is sufficient evidence to hand of such substance and tenacity in the common man's hold on these ideal
aspirations, on these idols of his human spirit, as to warrant the as[Pg 182]sertion that he is, rather commonly,
prepared to go to greater lengths in the furtherance of these immaterial gains that are to inure to someone else
than for any personal end of his own, in the way of creature comforts or even of personal renown.

For such ends the common man, in democratic Christendom is, on provocation, willing to die; or again, the
patient and perhaps more far-seeing common man of pagan China is willing to live for these idols of an
inveterate fancy, through endless contumely and hard usage. The conventional Chinese preconceptions, in the
way of things that are worth while in their own right, appear to differ from those current in the Occident in
such a way that the preconceived ideal is not to be realised except by way of continued life. The common
man's accountability to the cause of humanity, in China, is of so intimately personal a character that he can
meet it only by tenaciously holding his place in the sequence of generations; whereas among the peoples of
Christendom there has arisen out of their contentious past a preconception to the effect that this human duty to
mankind is of the nature of a debt, which can be cancelled by bankruptcy proceedings, so that the man who
unprofitably dies fighting for the cause has thereby constructively paid the reckoning in full.

Evidently, if the common man of these modern nations that are prospectively to be brought under tutelage of
the Imperial government could be brought to the frame of mind that is habitual with his Chinese counterpart,
there should be a fair hope that pacific counsels would prevail and that Christendom would so come in for a
régime of peace by submission under this Imperial tutelage. But there are always these preconceptions of
self-will and in[Pg 183]subordination to be counted with among these nations, and there is the ancient habit of
a contentious national solidarity in defense of the nation's prestige, more urgent among these peoples than any
sentiment of solidarity with mankind at large, or any ulterior gain in civilisation that might come of continued
discipline in the virtues of patience and diligence under distasteful circumstances.

The occidental conception of manhood is in some considerable measure drawn in negative terms. So much so
that whenever a question of the manly virtues comes under controversy it presently appears that at least the
indispensable minimum, and indeed the ordinary marginal modicum, of what is requisite to a worthy manner
of life is habitually formulated in terms of what not. This appearance is doubtless misleading if taken without
the universally understood postulate on the basis of which negative demands are formulated. There is a good
deal of what would be called historical accident in all this. The indispensable demands of this modern
manhood take the form of refusal to obey extraneous authority on compulsion; of exemption from coercive
direction and subservience; of insubordination, in short. But it is always understood as a matter of course that
this insubordination is a refusal to submit to irresponsible or autocratic rule. Stated from the positive side it
would be freedom from restraint by or obedience to any authority not constituted by express advice and
consent of the governed. And as near as it may be formulated, when reduced to the irreducible minimum of
concrete proviso, this is the final substance of things which neither shame nor honour will permit the modern
civilised man to yield. To no arrangement for the abrogation of this minimum of free initiative and
self-direction will he consent to be[Pg 184] a party, whether it touches the conditions of life for his own
people who are to come after, or as touches the fortunes of such aliens as are of a like mind on this head and
are unable to make head against invasion of these human rights from outside.

As has just been remarked, the negative form so often taken by these demands is something of an historical
accident, due to the fact that these modern peoples came into their highly esteemed system of Natural Liberty
out of an earlier system of positive checks on self-direction and initiative; a system, in effect, very much after
the fashion of that Imperial jurisdiction that still prevails in the dynastic States—as, e.g., Germany or
Japan—whose projected dominion is now the immediate object of apprehension and repugnance. How
naively the negative formulation gained acceptance, and at the same time how intrinsic to the new

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dispensation was the aspiration for free initiative, appears in the confident assertion of its most genial
spokesman, that when these positive checks are taken away, "The simple and obvious system of Natural
Liberty establishes itself of its own accord."

The common man, in these modern communities, shows a brittle temper when any overt move is made against
this heritage of civil liberty. He may not be altogether well advised in respect of what liberties he will defend
and what he will submit to; but the fact is to be counted with in any projected peace, that there is always this
refractory residue of terms not open to negotiation or compromise. Now it also happens, also by historical
accident, that these residual principles of civil liberty have come to blend and coalesce with a stubborn
preconception of national integrity and national prestige. So that in the workday apprehension of the common
man, not given to[Pg 185] analytic excursions, any infraction of the national integrity or any abatement of the
national prestige has come to figure as an insufferable infringement on his personal liberty and on those
principles of humanity that make up the categorical articles of the secular creed of Christendom. The fact may
be patent on reflection that the common man's substantial interest in the national integrity is slight and elusive,
and that in sober common sense the national prestige has something less than a neutral value to him; but this
state of the substantially pertinent facts is not greatly of the essence of the case, since his preconceptions in
these premises do not run to that effect, and since they are of too hard and fast a texture to suffer any serious
abatement within such a space of time as can come in question here and now.

The outlook for a speedy settlement of the world's peace on a plan of unconditional surrender to the projected
Imperial dominion seems unpromisingly dubious, in view of the stubborn temper shown by these modern
peoples wherever their preconceived ideas of right and honest living appear to be in jeopardy; and the
expediency of entering into any negotiated compact of diplomatic engagements and assurances designed to
serve as groundwork to an eventual enterprise of that kind must therefore also be questionable in a high
degree. It is even doubtful if any allowance of time can be counted on to bring these modern peoples to a more
reasonable, more worldly-wise, frame of mind; so that they would come to see their interest in such an
arrangement, or would divest themselves of their present stubborn and perhaps fantastic prejudice against an
autocratic régime of the kind spoken for. At least for the present any such hope of[Pg 186] a peaceable
settlement seems illusive. What may be practicable in this way in the course of time is of course still more
obscure; but argument on the premises which the present affords does not point to a substantially different
outcome in the calculable future.

For the immediate future—say, within the life-time of the oncoming generation—the spiritual
state of the peoples concerned in this international quandary is not likely to undergo so radical a change as to
seriously invalidate an argument that proceeds on the present lie of the land in this respect. Preconceptions are
a work of habit impinging on a given temperamental bent; and where, as in these premises, the preconceptions
have taken on an institutionalised form, have become conventionalised and commonly accepted, and so have
been woven into the texture of popular common sense, they must needs be a work of protracted and
comprehensive habituation impinging on a popular temperamental bent of so general a prevalence that it may
be called congenital to the community at large. A heritable bent pervading the group within which inheritance
runs, does not change, so long as the racial complexion of the group remains passably intact; a
conventionalised, commonly established habit of mind will change only slowly, commonly not without the
passing of at least one generation, and only by grace of a sufficiently searching and comprehensive discipline
of experience. For good or ill, the current situation is to be counted on not to lose character over night or with
a revolution of the seasons, so far as concerns these spiritual factors that make or mar the fortunes of nations.

At the same time these spiritual assets, being of the nature of habit, are also bound to change character more
or less radically, by insensible shifting of ground, but[Pg 187] incontinently,—provided only that the
conditions of life, and therefore the discipline of experience, undergo any substantial change. So the
immediate interest shifts to the presumptive rate and character of those changes that are in prospect, due to the
unremitting change of circumstances under which these modern peoples live and to the discipline of which

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they are unavoidably exposed. For the present and for the immediate future the current state of things is a
sufficiently stable basis of argument; but assurance as to the sufficiency of the premises afforded by the
current state of things thins out in proportion as the perspective of the argument runs out into the succeeding
years. The bearing of it all is two-fold, of course. This progressive, cumulative habituation under changing
circumstances affects the case both of those democratic peoples whose fortunes are in the hazard, and also of
those dynastic States by whom the projected enterprise in dominion is to be carried into effect.

The case of the two formidable dynastic States whose names have been coupled together in what has already
been said is perhaps the more immediately interesting in the present connection. As matters stand, and in the
measure in which they continue so to stand, the case of these is in no degree equivocal. The two dynastic
establishments seek dominion, and indeed they seek nothing else, except incidentally to and in furtherance of
the main quest. As has been remarked before, it lies in the nature of a dynastic State to seek dominion, that
being the whole of its nature in so far as it runs true to form. But a dynastic State, like any other settled,
institutionalised community of men, rests on and draws its effectual driving force from the habit of mind of its
underlying community,[Pg 188] the common man in the aggregate, his preconceptions and ideals as to what
things are worth while. Without a suitable spiritual ground of this kind such a dynastic State passes out of the
category of formidable Powers and into that of precarious despotism.

In both of the two States here in question the dynastic establishment and its bodyguard of officials and
gentlefolk may be counted on to persevere in the faith that now animates them, until an uneasy displacement
of sentiment among the underlying populace may in time induce them judiciously to shift their footing. Like
the ruling classes elsewhere, they are of a conservative temper and may be counted on so to continue. They
are also not greatly exposed to the discipline of experience that makes for adaptive change in habits of life,
and therefore in the correlated habits of thought. It is always the common man that is effectually reached by
any exacting or wide-reaching change in the conditions of life. He is relatively unsheltered from any forces
that make for adaptive change, as contrasted with the case of his betters; and however sluggish and reluctant
may be his response to such discipline as makes for a displacement of outworn preconceptions, yet it is
always out of the mass of this common humanity that those movements of disaffection and protest arise,
which lead, on occasion, to any material realignment of the institutional fabric or to any substantial shift in the
line of policy to be pursued under the guidance of their betters.

The common mass of humanity, it may be said in parenthesis, is of course not a homogeneous body.
Uncommon men, in point of native gifts of intelligence, sensibility, or personal force, will occur as frequently,
in proportion to the aggregate numbers, among the common[Pg 189] mass as among their betters. Since in any
one of these nations of Christendom, with their all-inclusive hybridisation, the range, frequency and amplitude
of variations in hereditary endowment is the same throughout all classes. Class differentiation is a matter of
habit and convention; and in distinction from his betters the common man is common only in point of
numbers and in point of the more general and more exacting conditions to which he is exposed. He is in a
position to be more hardly ridden by the discipline of experience, and is at the same time held more
consistently to such a body of preconceptions, and to such changes only in this body of preconceptions, as fall
in with the drift of things in a larger mass of humanity. But all the while it is the discipline which impinges on
the sensibilities of this common mass that shapes the spiritual attitude and temper of the community and so
defines what may and what may not be undertaken by the constituted leaders. So that, in a way, these dynastic
States are at the mercy of that popular sentiment whose creatures they are, and are subject to undesired
changes of direction and efficiency in their endeavors, contingent on changes in the popular temper; over
which they have only a partial, and on the whole a superficial control.

A relatively powerful control and energetic direction of the popular temper is and has been exercised by these
dynastic establishments, with a view to its utilisation in the pursuit of the dynastic enterprise; and much has
visibly been accomplished in that way; chiefly, perhaps, by military discipline in subordination to personal
authority, and also by an unsparing surveillance of popular education, with a view to fortify the

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preconceptions handed down from the passing order as well as to eliminate all subversive innovation. Yet in
spite of all the well-con[Pg 190]ceived and shrewdly managed endeavors of the German Imperial system in
this direction, e.g., there has been evidence of an obscurely growing uneasiness, not to say disaffection,
among the underlying mass. So much so that hasty observers, and perhaps biased, have reached the inference
that one of the immediate contributory causes that led to the present war was the need of a heroic remedy to
correct this untoward drift of sentiment.

For the German people the government of the present dynastic incumbent has done all that could (humanly
speaking) be expected in the way of endeavoring to conserve the passing order and to hold the popular
imagination to the received feudalistic ideals of loyal service. And yet the peoples of the Empire are already
caught in the net of that newer order which they are now endeavoring to break by force of arms. They are
inextricably implicated in the cultural complex of Christendom; and within this Western culture those peoples
to whom it fell to lead the exodus out of the Egypt of feudalism have come quite naturally to set the pace in all
the larger conformities of civilised life. Within the confines of Christendom today, for good or ill, whatever
usage or customary rule of conduct falls visibly short of the precedent set by these cultural pioneers is felt to
fall beneath the prescriptive commonplace level of civilisation. Failure to adopt and make use of those tried
institutional expedients on which these peoples of the advance guard have set their mark of authentication is
today presumptively a mistake and an advantage foregone; and a people who are denied the benefit of these
latterday ways and means of civic life are uneasy with a sense of grievance at the hands of their rulers.
Besides which, the fashion in articles of institutional equipage so set by the authentic pioneers of[Pg 191]
culture has also come to be mandatory, as a punctilio of the governmental proprieties; so that no national
establishment which aspires to a decorous appearance in the eyes of the civilised world can longer afford to be
seen without them. The forms at least must be observed. Hence the "representative" and pseudo-representative
institutions of these dynastic States.

These dynastic States among the rest have partly followed the dictates of civilised fashion, partly yielded to
the, more or less intelligent, solicitations of their subjects, or the spokesmen of their subjects, and have
installed institutional apparatus of this modern pattern—more in point of form than of substance,
perhaps. Yet in time the adoption of the forms is likely to have an effect, if changing circumstances favor their
taking effect. Such has on the whole been the experience of those peoples who have gone before along this
trail of political advance. As instance the growth of discretionary powers under the hands of parliamentary
representatives in those cases where the movement has gone on longest and farthest; and these instances
should not be considered idle, as intimations of what may presumptively be looked for under the Imperial
establishments of Germany or Japan. It may be true that hitherto, along with the really considerable volume of
imitative gestures of discretionary deliberation delegated to these parliamentary bodies, they have as regards
all graver matters brought to their notice only been charged with a (limited) power to talk. It may be true that,
for the present, on critical or weighty measures the parliamentary discretion extends no farther than
respectfully to say: "Ja wohl!" But then, Ja wohl is also something; and there is no telling where it may all
lead to in the long course of years. One has[Pg 192] a vague apprehension that this "Ja wohl!" may some day
come to be a customarily necessary form of authentication, so that with-holding it (Behüt' es Gott!) may even
come to count as an effectual veto on measures so pointedly neglected. More particularly will the formalities
of representation and self-government be likely to draw the substance of such like "free institutions" into the
effectual conduct of public affairs if it turns out that the workday experiences of these people takes a turn
more conducive to habits of insubordination than has been the case hitherto.

Indications are, again, not wanting, that even in the Empire the discipline of workday experience is already
diverging from that line that once trained the German subjects into the most loyal and unrepining subservience
to dynastic ambitions. Of course, just now, under the shattering impact of warlike atrocities and patriotic
clamour, the workday spirit of insubordination and critical scrutiny is gone out of sight and out of hearing.

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Something of this inchoate insubordination has showed itself repeatedly during the present reign, sufficient to
provoke many shrewd protective measures on the side of the dynastic establishment, both by way of political
strategy and by arbitrary control. Disregarding many minor and inconsequential divisions of opinion and
counsel among the German people during this eventful reign, the political situation has been moving on the
play of three, incipiently divergent, strains of interest and sentiment: (a) the dynasty (together with the
Agrarians, of whom in a sense the dynasty is a part); (b) the businessmen, or commercial interest (including
investors); and (c) the industrial workmen. Doubtless it would be easier to overstate than to indicate with any
nice precision what[Pg 193] has been the nature, and especially the degree, of this alienation of sentiment and
divergence of conscious interest among these several elements. It is not that there has at any point been a
perceptible faltering in respect of loyalty to the crown as such. But since the crown belongs, by origin,
tradition, interest and spiritual identity, in the camp of the Agrarians, the situation has been such as would
inevitably take on a character of disaffection toward the dynastic establishment, in the conceivable absence of
that strong surviving sentiment of dynastic loyalty that still animates all classes and conditions of men in the
Fatherland. It would accordingly, again, be an overstatement to say that the crown has been standing
precariously at the apex of a political triangle, the other two corners of which are occupied by these two
divided and potentially recalcitrant elements of the body politic, held apart by class antipathy and divergent
pecuniary interest, and held in check by divided counsels; but something after that fashion is what would have
resulted under similar conditions of strain in any community where the modern spirit of insubordination has
taken effect in any large measure.

Both of these elements of incipient disturbance in the dynastic economy, the modern commercial and working
classes, are creatures of the new era; and they are systematically out of line with the received dynastic
tradition of fealty, both in respect of their pecuniary interests and in respect of that discipline of experience to
which their workday employment subjects them. They are substantially the same two classes or groupings that
came forward in the modernisation of the British community, with a gradual segregation of interest and a
consequent induced solidarity of class sentiment and class animosi[Pg 194]ties. But with the difference that in
the British case the movement of changing circumstances was slow enough to allow a fair degree of
habituation to the altered economic conditions; whereas in the German case the move into modern economic
conditions has been made so precipitately as to have carried the mediaeval frame of mind over virtually intact
into this era of large business and machine industry. In the Fatherland the commercial and industrial classes
have been called on to play their part without time to learn their lines.

The case of the English-speaking peoples, who have gone over this course of experience in more consecutive
fashion than any others, teaches that in the long run, if these modern economic conditions persist, one or the
other or both of these creatures of the modern era must prevail, and must put the dynastic establishment out of
commission; although the sequel has not yet been seen in this British case, and there is no ground afforded for
inference as to which of the two will have the fortune to survive and be invested with the hegemony.
Meantime the opportunity of the Imperial establishment to push its enterprise in dominion lies in the interval
of time so required for the discipline of experience under modern conditions to work out through the growth
of modern habits of thought into such modern (i.e. civilised) institutional forms and such settled principles of
personal insubordination as will put any effectual dynastic establishment out of commission. The same
interval of time, that must so be allowed for the decay of the dynastic spirit among the German people under
the discipline of life by the methods of modern trade and industry, marks the period during which no peace
compact will be practicable, except with the elimination of the Imperial establishment as a pos[Pg 195]sible
warlike power. All this, of course, applies to the case of Japan as well, with the difference that while the
Japanese people are farther in arrears, they are also a smaller, less formidable body, more exposed to outside
forces, and their mediaevalism is of a more archaic and therefore more precarious type.

What length of time will be required for this decay of the dynastic spirit among the people of the Empire is, of
course, impossible to say. The factors of the case are not of a character to admit anything like calculation of
the rate of movement; but in the nature of the factors involved it is also contained that something of a

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movement in this direction is unavoidable, under Providence. As a preliminary consideration, these peoples of
the Empire and its allies, as well as their enemies in the great war, will necessarily come out of their warlike
experience in a more patriotic and more vindictive frame of mind than that in which they entered on this
adventure. Fighting makes for malevolence. The war is itself to be counted as a set-back. A very large
proportion of those who have lived through it will necessarily carry a warlike bent through life. By that much,
whatever it may count for, the decay of the dynastic spirit—or the growth of tolerance and equity in
national sentiment, if one chooses to put it that way—will be retarded from beforehand. So also the
Imperial establishment, or whatever is left of it, may be counted on to do everything in its power to preserve
the popular spirit of loyalty and national animosity, by all means at its disposal; since the Imperial
establishment finally rests on the effectual body of national animosity. What hindrance will come in from this
agency of retardation can at least vaguely be guessed at, in the light of[Pg 196] what has been accomplished in
that way under the strenuously reactionary rule of the present reign.

Again, there is the chance, as there always is a chance of human folly, that the neighboring peoples will
undertake, whether jointly or severally, to restrict or prohibit trade relations between the people of the Empire
and their enemies in the present war; thereby fomenting international animosity, as well as contributing
directly to the economic readiness for war both on their own part and on that of the Empire. This is also, and
in an eminent degree, an unknown factor in the case, on which not even a reasonable guess can be made
beforehand. These are, all and several, reactionary agencies, factors of retardation, making for continuation of
the current international situation of animosity, distrust, chicane, trade rivalry, competitive armament, and
eventual warlike enterprise.

To offset these agencies of conservatism there is nothing much that can be counted on but that slow, random,
and essentially insidious working of habituation that tends to the obsolescence of the received preconceptions;
partly by supplanting them with something new, but more effectually by their falling into disuse and decay.
There is, it will have to be admitted, little of a positive character that can be done toward the installation of a
régime of peace and good-will. The endeavours of the pacifists should suffice to convince any dispassionate
observer of the substantial futility of creative efforts looking to such an end. Much can doubtless be done in
the way of precautionary measures, mostly of a negative character, in the way especially of removing sources
of infection and (possibly) of so sterilising the apparatus of national life that its working shall neither maintain
animosities and in[Pg 197]terests at variance with the conditions of peace nor contribute to their spread and

There is necessarily little hope or prospect that any national establishment will contribute materially or in any
direct way to the obsolescence of warlike sentiments and ambitions; since such establishments are designed
for the making of war by keeping national jealousies intact, and their accepted place in affairs is that of
preparation for eventual hostilities, defensive or offensive. Except for the contingency of eventual hostilities,
no national establishment could be kept in countenance. They would all fall into the decay of desuetude, just
as has happened to the dynastic establishments among those peoples who have (passably) lost the spirit of
dynastic aggression.

The modern industrial occupations, the modern technology, and that modern empirical science that runs so
close to the frontiers of technology, all work at cross purposes with the received preconceptions of the
nationalist order; and in a more pronounced degree they are at cross purposes with that dynastic order of
preconceptions that converges on Imperial dominion. The like is true, with a difference, of the ways, means
and routine of business enterprise as it is conducted in the commercialised communities of today. The
working of these agencies runs to this effect not by way of deliberate and destructive antagonism, but almost
wholly by force of systematic, though unintended and incidental, neglect of those values, standards, verities,
and grounds of discrimination and conviction that make up the working realities of the national spirit and of
dynastic ambition. The working concepts of this new, essentially mechanistic, order of human interests, do not
necessarily clash with those of the old order, essentially the order of personages and[Pg 198] personalities; the

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two are incommensurable, and they are incompatible only in the sense and degree implied in that state of the
case. The profoundest and most meritorious truths of dynastic politics can on no provocation and by no sleight
of hand be brought within the logic of that system of knowledge and appraisal of values by which the
mechanistic technology proceeds. Within the premises of this modern mechanistic industry and science all the
best values and verities of the dynastic order are simply "incompetent, irrelevant and impertinent."

There is accordingly no unavoidable clash and no necessary friction between the two schemes of knowledge
or the two habits of mind that characterise the two contrasted cultural eras. It is only that a given
individual—call him the common man—will not be occupied with both of these
incommensurable systems of logic and appreciation at the same time or bearing on the same point; and further
that in proportion as his waking hours and his mental energy are fully occupied within the lines of one of these
systems of knowledge, design and employment, in much the same measure he will necessarily neglect the
other, and in time he will lose proficiency and interest in its pursuits and its conclusions. The man who is so
held by his daily employment and his life-long attention within the range of habits of thought that are valid in
the mechanistic technology, will, on an average and in the long run, lose his grip on the spiritual virtues of
national prestige and dynastic primacy; "for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned."

Not that the adepts in this modern mechanistic system of knowledge and design may not also be very good
patriots and devoted servants of the dynasty. The artless[Pg 199] and, on the whole, spontaneous riot of
dynastic avidity displayed to the astonished eyes of their fellow craftsmen in the neutral countries by the most
eminent scientists of the Fatherland during the early months of the war should be sufficient warning that the
archaic preconceptions do not hurriedly fly out of the window when the habits of thought of the mechanistic
order come in at the door. But with the passage of time, pervasively, by imperceptible displacement, by the
decay of habitual disuse, as well as by habitual occupation with these other and unrelated ways and means of
knowledge and belief, dynastic loyalty and the like conceptions in the realm of religion and magic pass out of
the field of attention and fall insensibly into the category of the lost arts. Particularly will this be true of the
common man, who lives, somewhat characteristically, in the mass and in the present, and whose waking hours
are somewhat fully occupied with what he has to do.

With the commercial interests the Imperial establishment can probably make such terms as to induce their
support of the dynastic enterprise, since they can apparently always be made to believe that an extension of
the Imperial dominion will bring correspondingly increased opportunities of trade. It is doubtless a mistake,
but it is commonly believed by the interested parties, which is just as good for the purpose as if it were true.
And it should be added that in this, as in other instances of the quest of larger markets, the costs are to be paid
by someone else than the presumed commercial beneficiaries; which brings the matter under the dearest
principle known to businessmen: that of getting something for nothing. It will not be equally easy to keep the
affections of the common man loyal to the dynastic enterprise when he[Pg 200] begins to lose his grip on the
archaic faith in dynastic dominion and comes to realise that he has also—individually and in the
mass—no material interest even in the defense of the Fatherland, much less in the further extension of
Imperial rule.

But the time when this process of disillusionment and decay of ideals shall have gone far enough among the
common run to afford no secure footing in popular sentiment for the contemplated Imperial
enterprise,—this time is doubtless far in the future, as compared with the interval of preparation
required for a new onset. Habituation takes time, particularly such habituation as can be counted on to derange
the habitual bent of a great population in respect of their dearest preconceptions. It will take a very
appreciable space of time even in the case of a populace so accessible to new habits of thought as the German
people are by virtue of their slight percentage of illiteracy, the very large proportion engaged in those modern
industries that constantly require some intelligent insight into mechanistic facts, the density of population and
the adequate means of communication, and the extent to which the whole population is caught in the web of

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mechanically standardised processes that condition their daily life at every turn. As regards their technological
situation, and their exposure to the discipline of industrial life, no other population of nearly the same volume
is placed in a position so conducive to a rapid acquirement of the spirit of the modern era. But, also, no other
people comparable with the population of the Fatherland has so large and well-knit a body of archaic
preconceptions to unlearn. Their nearest analogue, of course, is the Japanese nation.[Pg 201]

In all this there is, of course, no inclination to cast a slur on the German people. In point of racial
characteristics there is no difference between them and their neighbours. And there is no reason to question
their good intentions. Indeed, it may safely be asserted that no people is more consciously well-meaning than
the children of the Fatherland. It is only that, with their archaic preconceptions of what is right and
meritorious, their best intentions spell malevolence when projected into the civilised world as it stands today.
And by no fault of theirs. Nor is it meant to be intimated that their rate of approach to the accepted Occidental
standard of institutional maturity will be unduly slow or unduly reluctant, so soon as the pertinent facts of
modern life begin effectively to shape their habits of thought. It is only that, human nature—and human
second nature—being what it always has been, the rate of approach of the German people to a passably
neutral complexion in matters of international animosity and aggression must necessarily be slow enough to
allow ample time for the renewed preparation of a more unsparing and redoubtable endeavour on the part of
the Imperial establishment.

What makes this German Imperial establishment redoubtable, beyond comparison, is the very simple but also
very grave combination of circumstances whereby the German people have acquired the use of the modern
industrial arts in the highest state of efficiency, at the same time that they have retained unabated the fanatical
loyalty of feudal barbarism.[9] So long, and in so far, as this conjunction of forces holds there is no
outlook[Pg 202] for peace except on the elimination of Germany as a power capable of disturbing the peace.

It may seem invidious to speak so recurrently of the German Imperial establishment as the sole potential
disturber of the peace in Europe. The reason for so singling out the Empire for this invidious
distinction—of merit or demerit, as one may incline to take it—is that the facts run that way.
There is, of course, other human material, and no small volume of it in the aggregate, that is of much the same
character, and serviceable for the same purposes as the resources and man-power of the Empire. But this other
material can come effectually into bearing as a means of disturbance only in so far as it clusters about the
Imperial dynasty and marches under his banners. In so speaking of the Imperial establishment as the sole
enemy of a European peace, therefore, these outlying others are taken for granted, very much as one takes the
nimbus for granted in speaking of one of the greater saints of God.

So the argument returns to the alternative: Peace by unconditional surrender and submission, or peace by
elimination of Imperial Germany (and Japan). There is no middle course apparent. The
old-fashioned—that is to say nineteenth-century—plan of competitive defensive armament and a
balance of powers has been tried, and it has not proved to be a success, even so early in the twentieth century.
This plan offers a substitute (Ersatz) for peace; but even as such it has become impracticable. The modern, or
rather the current late-modern, state of the industrial arts does not tolerate it. Technological knowledge has
thrown the advantage in military affairs definitively to the offensive, particularly to the[Pg 203] offensive that
is prepared beforehand with the suitable appliances and with men ready matured in that rigorous and
protracted training by which alone they can become competent to make warlike use of these suitable
appliances provided by the modern technology. At the same time, and by grace of the same advance in
technology, any well-designed offensive can effectually reach any given community, in spite of distance or of
other natural obstacles. The era of defensive armaments and diplomatic equilibration, as a substitute for peace,
has been definitively closed by the modern state of the industrial arts.

Of the two alternatives spoken of above, the former—peace by submission under an alien
dynasty—is presumably not a practicable solution, as has appeared in the course of the foregoing

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The modern nations are not spiritually ripe for it. Whether they have reached even that stage of national
sobriety, or neutrality, that would enable them to live at peace among themselves after elimination of the
Imperial Powers is still open to an uneasy doubt. It would be by a precarious margin that they can be counted
on so to keep the peace in the absence of provocation from without the pale. Their predilection for peace goes
to no greater lengths than is implied in the formula: Peace with Honour; which assuredly does not cover a
peace of non-resistance, and which, in effect, leaves the distinction between an offensive and a defensive war
somewhat at loose ends. The national prestige is still a live asset in the mind of these peoples; and the limit of
tolerance in respect of this patriotic animosity appears to be drawn appreciably closer than the formula cited
above would necessarily presume. They will fight on provocation,[Pg 204] and the degree of provocation
required to upset the serenity of these sportsmanlike modern peoples is a point on which the shrewdest
guesses may diverge. Still, opinion runs more and more consistently to the effect that if these
modern—say the French and the English-speaking—peoples were left to their own devices the
peace might fairly be counted on to be kept between them indefinitely, barring unforeseen contingencies.

Experience teaches that warlike enterprise on a moderate scale and as a side interest is by no means
incompatible with such a degree of neutral animus as these peoples have yet acquired,—e.g., the
Spanish-American war, which was made in America, or the Boer war, which was made in England. But these
wars, in spite of the dimensions which they presently took on, were after all of the nature of
episodes,—the one chiefly an extension of sportsmanship, which engaged the best attention of only the
more sportsmanlike elements, the other chiefly engineered by certain business interests with a callous view to
getting something for nothing. Both episodes came to be serious enough, both in their immediate incidence
and in their consequences; but neither commanded the deliberate and cordial support of the community at
large. There is a meretricious air over both; and there is apparent a popular inclination to condone rather than
to take pride in these faits accomplis. The one excursion was a product of sportsmanlike bravado, fed on
boyish exuberance, fomented for mercenary objects by certain business interests and place-hunting politicians,
and incited by meretricious newspapers with a view to increase their circulation. The other was set afoot by
interested businessmen, backed by politicians, seconded by newspapers, and borne by the community[Pg 205]
at large, in great part under misapprehension and stung by wounded pride.

Opinions will diverge widely as to the chances of peace in a community of nations among whom episodes of
this character, and of such dimensions, have been somewhat more than tolerated in the immediate past. But
the consensus of opinion in these same countries appears to be setting with fair consistency to the persuasion
that the popular spirit shown in these and in analogous conjunctures in the recent past gives warrant that peace
is deliberately desired and is likely to be maintained, barring unforeseen contingencies.

In the large, the measures conducive to the perpetuation of peace, and necessary to be taken, are simple and
obvious; and they are largely of a negative character, exploits of omission and neglect. Under modern
conditions, and barring aggression from without, the peace is kept by avoiding the breaking of it. It does not
break of itself,—in the absence of such national establishments as are organised with the sole ulterior
view of warlike enterprise. A policy of peace is obviously a policy of avoidance,—avoidance of offense
and of occasion for annoyance.

What is required to insure the maintenance of peace among pacific nations is the neutralisation of all those
human relations out of which international grievances are wont to arise. And what is necessary to assure a
reasonable expectation of continued peace is the neutralisation of so much of these relations as the patriotic
self-conceit and credulity of these peoples will permit. These two formulations are by no means identical;
indeed, the disparity between what could advantageously be dispensed with in the way of national rights and
pretensions, and[Pg 206] what the common run of modern patriots could be induced to relinquish, is probably
much larger than any sanguine person would like to believe. It should be plain on slight reflection that the

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greater part, indeed substantially the whole, of those material interests and demands that now engage the
policy of the nations, and that serve on occasion to set them at variance, might be neutralised or relinquished
out of hand, without detriment to any one of the peoples concerned.

The greater part of these material interests over which the various national establishments keep watch and
hold pretensions are, in point of historical derivation, a legacy from the princely politics of what is called the
"Mercantilist" period; and they are uniformly of the nature of gratuitous interference or discrimination
between the citizens of the given nation and outsiders. Except (doubtfully) in the English case, where
mercantilist policies are commonly believed to have been adopted directly for the benefit of the commercial
interest, measures of this nature are uniformly traceable to the endeavours of the crown and its officers to
strengthen the finances of the prince and give him an advantage in warlike enterprise. They are kept up
essentially for the same eventual end of preparation for war. So, e.g., protective tariffs, and the like
discrimination in shipping, are still advocated as a means of making the nation self-supporting, self-contained,
self-sufficient; with a view to readiness in the event of hostilities.

A nation is in no degree better off in time of peace for being self-sufficient. In point of patent fact no nation
can be industrially self-sufficient except at the cost of foregoing some of the economic advantages of that
specialisation of industry which the modern state of the in[Pg 207]dustrial arts enforces. In time of peace there
is no benefit comes to the community at large from such restraint of trade with the outside world, or to any
class or section of the community except those commercial concerns that are favored by the discrimination;
and these invariably gain their special advantage at the cost of their compatriots. Discrimination in
trade—export, import or shipping—has no more beneficial effect when carried out publicly by
the national authorities than when effected surreptitiously and illegally by a private conspiracy in restraint of
trade within a group of interested business concerns.

Hitherto the common man has found it difficult to divest himself of an habitual delusion on this head, handed
down out of the past and inculcated by interested politicians, to the effect that in some mysterious way he
stands to gain by limiting his own opportunities. But the neutralisation of international trade, or the abrogation
of all discrimination in trade, is the beginning of wisdom as touches the perpetuation of peace. The first effect
of such a neutral policy would be wider and more intricately interlocking trade relations, coupled with a
further specialisation and mutual dependence of industry between the several countries concerned; which
would mean, in terms of international comity, a lessened readiness for warlike operations all around.

It used to be an argument of the free-traders that the growth of international commercial relations under a
free-trade policy would greatly conduce to a spirit of mutual understanding and forbearance between the
nations. There may or may not be something appreciable in the contention; it has been doubted, and there is
no considerable evidence to be had in support of it. But[Pg 208] what is more to the point is the tangible fact
that such specialisation of industry and consequent industrial interdependence would leave all parties to this
relation less capable, materially and spiritually, to break off amicable relations. So again, in time of peace and
except with a view to eventual hostilities, it would involve no loss, and presumably little pecuniary gain, to
any country, locality, town or class, if all merchant shipping were registered indiscriminately under neutral
colors and sailed under the neutral no-man's flag, responsible indiscriminately to the courts where they
touched or where their business was transacted.

Neither producers, shippers, merchants nor consumers have any slightest interest in the national allegiance of
the carriers of their freight, except such as may artificially be induced by discriminatory shipping regulations.
In all but the name—in time of peace—the world's merchant shipping already comes near being
so neutralised, and the slight further simplification required to leave it on a neutral peace footing would be
little else than a neglect of such vexatious discrimination as is still in force. If no nation could claim the
allegiance, and therefore the usufruct, of any given item of merchant shipping in case of eventual hostilities,
on account of the domicile of the owners or the port of registry, that would create a further handicap on

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eventual warlike enterprise and add so much to the margin of tolerance. At the same time, in the event of
hostilities, shipping sailing under the neutral no-man's flag and subject to no national allegiance would enjoy
such immunities as still inure to neutral shipping. It is true, neutrality has not carried many immunities lately.

Cumulatively effective usage and the exigencies of a large, varied, shifting and extensive maritime trade
have[Pg 209] in the course of time brought merchant shipping to something approaching a neutral footing. For
most, one might venture to say for virtually all, routine purposes of business and legal liability the merchant
shipping comes under the jurisdiction of the local courts, without reservation. It is true, there still are
formalities and reservations which enable questions arising out of incidents in the shipping trade to become
subject of international conference and adjustment, but they are after all not such as would warrant the
erection of national apparatus to take care of them in case they were not already covered by usage to that
effect. The visible drift of usage toward neutralisation in merchant shipping, in maritime trade, and in
international commercial transactions, together with the similarly visible feasibility of a closer approach to
unreserved neutralisation of this whole range of traffic, suggests that much the same line of considerations
should apply as regards the personal and pecuniary rights of citizens traveling or residing abroad. The
extreme,—or, as seen from the present point of view, the ultimate—term in the relinquishment
of national pretensions along this line would of course be the neutralisation of citizenship.

This is not so sweeping a move as a patriotically-minded person might imagine on the first alarm, so far as
touches the practical status of the ordinary citizen in his ordinary relations, and particularly among the
English-speaking peoples. As an illustrative instance, citizenship has sat somewhat lightly on the denizens of
the American republic, and with no evident damage to the community at large or to the inhabitants in detail.
Naturalisation has been easy, and has been sought with no more eagerness, on the whole, than the notably low
terms of its acquirement would indicate. Without loss or discomfort many[Pg 210] law-abiding aliens have
settled in this country and spent the greater part of a life-time under its laws without becoming citizens, and no
one the worse or the wiser for it. Not infrequently the decisive inducement to naturalisation on the part of
immigrant aliens has been, and is, the desirability of divesting themselves of their rights of citizenship in the
country of their origin. Not that the privilege and dignity of citizenship, in this or in any other country, is to be
held of little account. It is rather that under modern civilised conditions, and among a people governed by
sentiments of humanity and equity, the stranger within our gates suffers no obloquy and no despiteful usage
for being a stranger. It may be admitted that of late, with the fomentation of a more accentuated nationalism
by politicians seeking a raison d'être, additional difficulties have been created in the way of naturalisation and
the like incidents. Still, when all is told of the average American citizen, qua citizen, there is not much to tell.
The like is true throughout the English-speaking peoples, with inconsequential allowance for local color. A
definitive neutralisation of citizenship within the range of these English-speaking countries would scarcely
ripple the surface of things as they are—in time of peace.

All of which has not touched the sore and sacred spot in the received scheme of citizenship and its rights and
liabilities. It is in the event of hostilities that the liabilities of the citizen at home come into the foreground,
and it is as a source of patriotic grievance looking to warlike retaliation that the rights of the citizen abroad
chiefly come into the case.

If, as was once, almost inaudibly, hinted by a well-regarded statesman, the national establishment should[Pg
211] refuse to jeopardise the public peace for the safeguarding of the person and property of citizens who go
out in partes infidelium on their own private concerns, and should so leave them under the uncurbed
jurisdiction of the authorities in those countries into which they have intruded, the result might in many cases
be hardship to such individuals. This would, of course, be true almost exclusively of such instances only as
occur in such localities as are, temporarily or permanently, outside the pale of modern law and order. And, it
may be in place to remark, instances of such hardship, with the accompanying hazard of national
complications, would, no doubt, greatly diminish in frequency consequent upon the promulgation of such a
disclaimer of national responsibility for the continued well-being of citizens who so expatriate themselves in

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the pursuit of their own advantage or amusement. Meantime, let it not seem inconsiderate to recall that to the
community at large the deplorable case of such expatriates under hardship involves no loss or gain in the
material respect; and that, except for the fortuitous circumstance of his being a compatriot, the given
individual's personal or pecuniary fortune in foreign parts has no special claim on his compatriots' sympathy
or assistance; from which it follows also that with the definitive neutralisation of citizenship as touches
expatriates, the sympathy which is now somewhat unintelligently confined to such cases, on what may
without offense be called extraneous grounds, would somewhat more impartially and humanely extend to
fellowmen in distress, regardless of nativity or naturalisation.

What is mainly to the point here, however, is the fact that if citizenship were so neutralised within the range of
neutral countries here contemplated, one further source[Pg 212] of provocation to international jealousy and
distrust would drop out of the situation. And it is not easy to detect any element of material loss involved in
such a move. In the material respect no individual would be any the worse off, with the doubtful and dubious
exception of the expatriate fortune-hunter, who aims to fish safely in troubled waters at his compatriots'
expense. But the case stands otherwise as regards the balance of immaterial assets. The scaffolding of much
highly-prized sentiment would collapse, and the world of poetry and pageantry—particularly that of the
tawdrier and more vendible poetry and pageantry—would be poorer by so much. The Man Without a
Country would lose his pathetic appeal, or would at any rate lose much of it. It may be, of course, that in the
sequel there would result no net loss even in respect of these immaterial assets of sentimental animation and
patriotic self-complacency, but it is after all fairly certain that something would be lost, and it is by no means
clear what if anything would come in to fill its place.

An historical parallel may help to illustrate the point. In the movement out of what may be called the royal age
of dynasties and chivalric service, those peoples who have moved out of that age and out of its spiritual
atmosphere have lost much of the conscious magnanimity and conviction of merit that once characterised that
order of things, as it still continues to characterise the prevalent habit of mind in the countries that still
continue under the archaic order of dynastic mastery and service. But it is also to be noted that these peoples
who so have moved out of the archaic order appear to be well content with this change of spiritual
atmosphere, and they are even fairly well persuaded, in the common run, that the move[Pg 213] has brought
them some net gain in the way of human dignity and neighbourly tolerance, such as to offset any loss incurred
on the heroic and invidious side of life. Such is the tempering force of habit. Whereas, e.g., on the other hand,
the peoples of these surviving dynastic States, to which it is necessary continually to recur, who have not yet
moved out of that realm of heroics, find themselves unable to see anything in such a prospective shift but net
loss and headlong decay of the spirit; that modicum of forbearance and equity that is requisite to the conduct
of life in a community of ungraded masterless men is seen by these stouter stomachs as a loosening of the
moral fiber and a loss of nerve.

What is here tentatively projected under the phrase, "neutralization of citizenship," is only something a little
more and farther along the same general line of movement which these more modern peoples have been
following in all that sequence of institutional changes that has given them their present distinctive character of
commonwealths, as contrasted with the dynastic States of the mediaeval order. What may be in
prospect—if such a further move away from the mediaeval landmarks is to take effect—may
best be seen in the light of the later moves in the same direction hitherto, more particularly as regards the
moral and aesthetic merits at large of such an institutional mutation. As touches this last previous shifting of
ground along this line, just spoken of, the case stands in this singular but significant posture, in respect of the
spiritual values and valuations involved: These peoples who have, even in a doubtful measure, made this
transition from the archaic institutional scheme, of fealty and dynastic exploit and coercion, to the newer
scheme of[Pg 214] the ungraded commonwealth, are convinced, to the point of martyrdom, that anything like
a return to the old order is morally impossible as well as insufferably shameful and irksome; whereas those
people, of the retarded division of the race, who have had no experience of this new order, are equally
convinced that it is all quite incompatible with a worthy life.

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Evidently, there should be no disputing about tastes. Evidently, too, these retarded others will not move on
into the later institutional phase, of the ungraded commonwealth, by preconceived choice; but only, if at all,
by such schooling of experience as will bring them insensibly to that frame of mind out of which the ideal of
the ungraded commonwealth emerges by easy generalisation of workday practice. Meantime, having not yet
experienced that phase of sentiment and opinion on civic rights and immunities that is now occupied by their
institutionally maturer neighbours, the subjects of the Imperial Fatherland, e.g., in spite of the most laudable
intentions and the best endeavour, are, by failure of this experience, unable to comprehend either the ground
of opposition to their well-meaning projects of dominion or the futility of trying to convert these their elder
brothers to their own prescriptive acceptation of what is worth while. In time, and with experience, this
retarded division of Christendom may come to the same perspective on matters of national usage and ideals as
has been enforced on the more modern peoples by farther habituation. So, also, in time and with experience, if
the drift of circumstance shall turn out to set that way, the further move away from mediaeval discriminations
and constraint and into the unspectacular scheme of neutralisation may come to seem as right, good and
beautiful as the democratic common[Pg 215]wealth now seems to the English-speaking peoples, or as the
Hohenzollern Imperial State now seems to the subjects of the Fatherland. There is, in effect, no disputing
about tastes.

There is little that is novel, and nothing that is to be rated as constructive innovation, in this sketch of what
might not inaptly be called peace by neglect. The legal mind, which commonly takes the initiative in counsels
on what to do, should scarcely be expected to look in that direction for a way out, or to see its way out in that
direction in any case; so that it need occasion no surprise if the many current projects of pacification turn on
ingenious and elaborate provisions of apparatus and procedure, rather than on that simpler line of expedients
which the drift of circumstance, being not possessed of a legal mind, has employed in the sequence of
institutional change hitherto. The legal mind that dominates in the current deliberations on peace is at home in
exhaustive specifications and meticulous demarkations, and it is therefore prone to seek a remedy for the
burden of supernumerary devices by recourse to further excesses of regulation.

This trait of the legal mind is not a bad fault at the worst, and the quality in which this defect inheres is of the
greatest moment in any project of constructive engineering on the legal and political plane. But it is less to the
purpose, indeed it is at cross purposes, in such a conjuncture as the present; when the nations are held up in
their quest of peace chiefly by an accumulation of institutional apparatus that has out-stayed its usefulness. It
is the fortune even of good institutions to become imbecile with the change of conditioning circumstances,
and it then becomes a question of their disestablishment, not[Pg 216] of their rehabilitation. If there is
anywhere a safe negative conclusion, it is that an institution grown mischievous by obsolescence need not be
replaced by a substitute.

Instances of such mischievous institutional arrangements, obsolete or in process of obsolescence, would be,
e.g., the French monarchy of the ancient régime, the Spanish Inquisition, the British corn laws and the "rotten
boroughs," the Barbary pirates, the Turkish rule in Armenia, the British crown, the German Imperial Dynasty,
the European balance of powers, the Monroe Doctrine. In some sense, at least in the sense and degree implied
in their selective survival, these various articles of institutional furniture, and many like them, have once
presumably been suitable to some end, in the days of their origin and vigorous growth; and they have at least
in some passable fashion met some felt want; but if they ever had a place and use in the human economy they
have in time grown imbecile and mischievous by force of changing circumstances, and the question is not
how to replace them with something else to the same purpose after their purpose is outworn. A man who loses
a wart off the end of his nose does not apply to the Ersatz bureau for a convenient substitute.

Now, a large proportion, perhaps even substantially the whole, of the existing apparatus of international
rights, pretensions, discriminations, covenants and provisos, visibly fall in that class, in so far as concerns
their material serviceability to the nation at large, and particularly as regards any other than a warlike purpose,
offensive or defensive. Of course, the national dignity and diplomatic punctilio, and the like adjuncts and

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instrumentalities of the national honour, all have their prestige value; and they are not likely to be given up
out of hand. In point[Pg 217] of fact, however solicitous for a lasting peace these patriotically-minded modern
peoples may be, it is doubtful if they could be persuaded to give up any appreciable share of these
appurtenances of national jealousy even when their retention implies an imminent breach of the peace. Yet it
is plain that the peace will be secure in direct proportion to the measure in which national discrimination and
prestige are allowed to pass into nothingness and be forgot.

By so much as it might amount to, such neutralisation of outstanding interests between these pacific nations
should bring on a degree of coalescence of these nationalities. In effect, they are now held apart in many
respects by measures of precaution against their coming to a common plan of use and wont. The degree of
coalescence would scarcely be extreme; more particularly it could not well become onerous, since it would
rest on convenience, inclination and the neglect of artificial discrepancies. The more intimate institutions of
modern life, that govern human conduct locally and in detail, need not be affected, or not greatly affected, for
better or worse. Yet something appreciable in that way might also fairly be looked for in time.

The nature, reach and prescriptive force of this prospective coalescence through neutralisation may perhaps
best be appreciated in the light of what has already come to pass, without design or mandatory guidance, in
those lines of human interest where the national frontiers interpose no bar, or at least no decisive bar, whether
by force of unconcern or through impotence. Fashions of dress, equipage and decorous usage, e.g., run with
some uniformity throughout these modern nations, and indeed[Pg 218] with some degree of prescriptive force.
There is, of course, nothing mandatory, in the simpler sense, about all this; nor is the degree of conformity
extreme or uniform throughout. But it is a ready-made generalisation that only those communities are
incorporated in this cosmopolitan coalescence of usage that are moved by their own incitement, and only so
far as they have an effectually felt need of conformity in these premises. It is true, a dispassionate outsider, if
such there be, would perhaps be struck by the degree of such painstaking conformity to canons of conduct
which it frequently must cost serious effort even to ascertain in such detail as the case calls for. Doubtless, or
at least presumably, conformity under the jurisdiction of the fashions, and in related provinces of decorum, is
obligatory in a degree that need not be looked for throughout the scheme of use and wont at large, even under
the advisedly established non-interference of the authorities. Still, on a point on which the evidence hitherto is
extremely scant it is the part of discretion to hold no settled opinion.

A more promising line of suggestion is probably that afforded by the current degree of contact and
consistency among the modern nations in respect of science and scholarship, as also in the aesthetic or the
industrial arts. Local color and local pride, with one thing and another in the way of special incitement or
inhibition, may come in to vary the run of things, or to blur or hinder a common understanding and mutual
furtherance and copartnery in these matters of taste and intellect. Yet it is scarcely misleading to speak of the
peoples of Christendom as one community in these respects. The sciences and the arts are held as a joint stock
among these peoples, in their elements, and measurably also in their working-out. It is[Pg 219] true, these
interests and achievements of the race are not cultivated with the same assiduity or with identical effect
throughout; but it is equally true that no effectual bar could profitably be interposed, or would be tolerated in
the long run in this field, where men have had occasion to learn that unlimited collusion is more to the
purpose than a clannish discrimination.

It is, no doubt, beyond reasonable hope that these democratic peoples could be brought forthwith to concerted
action on the lines of such a plan of peace by neutralisation of all outstanding national pretensions. Both the
French and the English-speaking peoples are too eagerly set on national aims and national prestige, to allow
such a plan to come to a hearing, even if something of the kind should be spoken for by their most trusted
leaders. By settled habit they are thinking in terms of nationality, and just now they are all under the handicap
of an inflamed national pride. Advocacy of such a plan, of course, does not enter seriously into the purpose of
this inquiry; which is concerned with the conditions under which peace is sought today, with the further

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conditions requisite to its perpetuation, and with the probable effects of such a peace on the fortunes of these
peoples in case peace is established and effectually maintained.

It is a reasonable question, and one to which a provisional answer may be found, whether the drift of
circumstances in the present and for the immediate future may be counted on to set in the direction of a
progressive neutralisation of the character spoken of above, and therefore possibly toward a perpetuation of
that peace that is to follow the present season of war. So also is it an open and interesting question whether the
drift in that direc[Pg 220]tion, if such is the set of it, can be counted on to prove sufficiently swift and
massive, so as not to be overtaken and overborne by the push of agencies that make for dissension and warlike

Anything like a categorical answer to these questions would have to be a work of vaticination or of
effrontery,—possibly as much to the point the one as the other. But there are certain conditions
precedent to a lasting peace as the outcome of events now in train, and there are certain definable
contingencies conditioned on such current facts as the existing state of the industrial arts and the state of
popular sentiment, together with the conjuncture of circumstances under which these factors will come into

The state of the industrial arts, as it bears on the peace and its violation, has been spoken of above. It is of
such a character that a judiciously prepared offensive launched by any Power of the first rank at an opportune
time can reach and lay waste any given country of the habitable globe. The conclusive evidence of this is at
hand, and it is the major premise underlying all current proposals and projects of peace, as well as the refusal
of the nations now on the defensive to enter into negotiations looking to an "inconclusive peace." This state of
the case is not commonly recognised in so many words, but it is well enough understood. So that all peace
projects that shall hope to find a hearing must make up their account with it, and must show cause why they
should be judged competent to balk any attempted offensive. In an inarticulate or inchoate fashion, perhaps,
but none the less with ever-increasing certitude and increasing apprehension, this state of the case is also
coming to be an article of popular "knowledge and belief," wherever much or little[Pg 221] thought is spent
on the outlook for peace. It has already had a visible effect in diminishing the exclusiveness of nationalities
and turning the attention of the pacific peoples to the question of feasible ways and means of international
cooperation in case of need; but it has not hitherto visibly lessened the militant spirit among these nations, nor
has it lowered the tension of their national pride, at least not yet; rather the contrary, in fact.

The effect, upon the popular temper, of this inchoate realisation of the fatality that so lies in the modern state
of the industrial arts, varies from one country to another, according to the varying position in which they are
placed, or in which they conceive themselves to be placed. Among the belligerent nations it has put the spur
of fear to their need of concerted action as well as to their efforts to strengthen the national defense. But the
state of opinion and sentiment abroad in the nation in time of war is no secure indication of what it will be
after the return to peace. The American people, the largest and most immediately concerned of the neutral
nations, should afford more significant evidence of the changes in the popular attitude likely to follow from a
growing realisation of this state of the case, that the advantage has passed definitively to any well prepared
and resolute offensive, and that no precautions of diplomacy and no practicable measures of defensive
armament will any longer give security,—provided always that there is anywhere a national Power
actuated by designs of imperial dominion.

It is, of course, only little by little that the American people and their spokesmen have come to realise their
own case under this late-modern situation, and hitherto only in an imperfect degree. Their first response to the
stimulus has been a display of patriotic self-sufficiency[Pg 222] and a move to put the national defense on a
war-footing, such as would be competent to beat off all aggression. Those elements of the population who
least realise the gravity of the situation, and who are at the same time commercially interested in measures of
armament or in military preferment, have not begun to shift forward beyond this position of magniloquence

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and resolution; nor is there as yet much intimation that they see beyond it, although there is an ever-recurring
hint that they in a degree appreciate the practical difficulty of persuading a pacific people to make adequate
preparation beforehand, in equipment and trained man-power, for such a plan of self-sufficient self-defense.
But increasingly among those who are, by force of temperament or insight or by lack of the pecuniary and the
placeman's interest, less confident of an appeal to the nation's prowess, there is coming forward an evident
persuasion that warlike preparations—"preparedness"—alone and carried through by the
Republic in isolation, will scarcely serve the turn.

There are at least two lines of argument, or of persuasion, running to the support of such a view; readiness for
a warlike defense, by providing equipment and trained men, might prove a doubtfully effectual measure even
when carried to the limit of tolerance that will always be reached presently in any democratic country; and
then, too, there is hope of avoiding the necessity of such warlike preparation, at least in the same extreme
degree, by means of some practicable working arrangement to be effected with other nations who are in the
same case. Hitherto the farthest reach of these pacific schemes for maintaining the peace, or for the common
defense, has taken the shape of a projected league of neutral nations to keep the peace by enforcement of
specified interna[Pg 223]tional police regulations or by compulsory arbitration of international disputes. It is
extremely doubtful how far, if at all, popular sentiment of any effectual force falls in with this line of
precautionary measures. Yet it is evident that popular sentiment, and popular apprehension, has been stirred
profoundly by the events of the past two years, and the resulting change that is already visible in the
prevailing sentiment as regards the national defense would argue that more far-reaching changes in the same
connection are fairly to be looked for within a reasonable allowance of time.

In this American case the balance of effectual public opinion hitherto is to all appearance quite in doubt, but it
is also quite unsettled. The first response has been a display of patriotic emotion and national self-assertion.
The further, later and presumably more deliberate, expressions of opinion carry a more obvious note of
apprehension and less of stubborn or unreflecting national pride. It may be too early to anticipate a material
shift of base, to a more neutral, or less exclusively national footing in matters of the common defense.

The national administration has been moving at an accelerated rate in the direction not of national isolation
and self-reliance resting on a warlike equipment formidable enough to make or break the peace at
will—such as the more truculent and irresponsible among the politicians have spoken for—but
rather in the direction of moderating or curtailing all national pretensions that are not of undoubted material
consequence, and of seeking a common understanding and concerted action with those nationalities whose
effectual interests in the matters of peace and war coincide with the American. The administration has grown
visibly more pacific in the course of[Pg 224] its exacting experience,—more resolutely, one might even
say more aggressively pacific; but the point of chief attention in all this strategy of peace has also visibly been
shifting somewhat from the maintenance of a running equilibrium between belligerents and a keeping of the
peace from day to day, to the ulterior and altogether different question of what is best to be done toward a
conclusive peace at the close of hostilities, and the ways and means of its subsequent perpetuation.

This latter is, in effect, an altogether different question from that of preserving neutrality and amicable
relations in the midst of importunate belligerents, and it may even, conceivably, perhaps not unlikely, come to
involve a precautionary breach of the current peace and a taking of sides in the war with an urgent view to a
conclusive outcome. It would be going too far to impute to the administration, at the present stage, such an
aggressive attitude in its pursuit of a lasting peace as could be called a policy of defensive offense; but it will
shock no one's sensibilities to say that such a policy, involving a taking of sides and a renouncing of national
isolation, is visibly less remote from the counsels of the administration today than it has been at any earlier

In this pacific attitude, increasingly urgent and increasingly far-reaching and apprehensive, the administration
appears to be speaking for the common man rather than for the special interests or the privileged classes. Such

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would appear, on the face of the returns, to be the meaning of the late election. It is all the more significant on
that account, since in the long run it is after all the common man that will have to pass on the expediency of
any settled line of policy and to bear the material burden of carrying it into effect.[Pg 225]

It may seem rash to presume that a popularly accredited administration in a democratic country must
approximately reflect the effectual changes of popular sentiment and desire. Especially would it seem rash to
anyone looking on from the point of view of an undemocratic nation, and therefore prone to see the surface
fluctuations of excitement and shifting clamor. But those who are within the democratic pale will know that
any administration in such a country, where official tenure and continued incumbency of the party rest on a
popular vote,—any such administration is a political organisation and is guided by political expediency,
in the tawdry sense of the phrase. Such a political situation has the defects of its qualities, as has been well
and frequently expounded by its critics, but it has also the merits of its shortcomings. In a democracy of this
modern order any incumbent of high office is necessarily something of a politician, quite indispensably so;
and a politician at the same time necessarily is something of a demagogue. He yields to the popular drift, or to
the set of opinion and demands among the effective majority on whom he leans; and he can not even appear to
lead, though he may surreptitiously lead opinion in adroitly seeming to reflect it and obey it. Ostensible
leadership, such as has been staged in this country from time to time, has turned out to be ostensible only. The
politician must be adroit; but if he is also to be a statesman he must be something more. He is under the
necessity of guessing accurately what the drift of events and opinion is going to be on the next reach ahead;
and in taking coming events by the forelock he may be able to guide and shape the drift of opinion and
sentiment somewhat to his own liking. But all the while he must keep within the lines of the long-term set of
the[Pg 226] current as it works out in the habits of thought of the common man.

Such foresight and flexibility is necessary to continued survival, but flexibility of convictions alone does not
meet the requirements. Indeed, it has been tried. It is only the minor politicians—the most numerous
and long-lived, it is true—who can hold their place in the crevices of the party organisation, and get
their livelihood from the business of party politics, without some power of vision and some hazard of forecast.
It results from this state of the case that the drift of popular sentiment and the popular response to the stimulus
of current events is reflected more faithfully and more promptly by the short-lived administrations of a
democracy than by the stable and formally irresponsible governmental establishments of the older order. It
should also be noted that these democratic administrations are in a less advantageous position for the purpose
of guiding popular sentiment and shaping it to their own ends.

Now, it happens that at no period within the past half-century has the course of events moved with such
celerity or with so grave a bearing on the common good and the prospective contingencies of national life as
during the present administration. This apparent congruity of the administration's policy with the drift of
popular feeling and belief will incline anyone to put a high rating on the administration's course of conduct, in
international relations as well as in national measures that have a bearing on international relations, as
indicating the course taken by sentiment and second thought in the community at large,—for, in effect,
whether or not in set form, the community at large reflects on any matters of such gravity[Pg 227] and
urgency as to force themselves upon the attention of the common man.

Two main lines of reflection have visibly been enforced on the administration by the course of events in the
international field. There has been a growing apprehension, mounting in the later months to something like
the rank of a settled conviction, that the Republic has been marked down for reduction to a vassal state by the
dynastic Empire now engaged with its European adversaries. In so saying that the Republic has been marked
down for subjection it is not intended to intimate that deliberate counsel has been had by the Imperial
establishment on that prospective enterprise; still less that a resolution to such effect, with specification of
ways and means, has been embodied in documentary form and deposited for future reference in the Imperial
archives. All that is intended, and all that is necessary to imply, is that events are in train to such effect that the
subjugation of the American republic will necessarily find its place in the sequence presently, provided that

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the present Imperial adventure is brought to a reasonably auspicious issue; though it does not follow that this
particular enterprise need be counted on as the next large adventure in dominion to be undertaken when things
again fall into promising shape. This latter point would, of course, depend on the conjuncture of
circumstances, chief of which would have to be the exigencies of imperial dominion shaping the policy of the
Empire's natural and necessary ally in the Far East. All this has evidently been coming more and more
urgently into the workday deliberations of the American administration. Of course, it is not spoken of in set
terms to this effect in official utterances, perhaps not even within doors; that sort of thing is not done.[Pg 228]
But it can do no harm to use downright expressions in a scientific discussion of these phenomena, with a view
to understanding the current drift of things in this field.

Beyond this is the similar apprehension, similarly though more slowly and reluctantly rising to the level of
settled conviction, that the American commonwealth is not fit to take care of its own case single-handed. This
apprehension is enforced more and more unmistakably with every month that passes on the theatre of war.
And it is reenforced by the constantly more obvious reflection that the case of the American commonwealth in
this matter is the same as that of the democratic countries of Europe, and of the other European colonies. It is
not, or at least one may believe it is not yet, that in the patriotic apprehension of the common man, or of the
administration which speaks for him, the resources of the country would be inadequate to meet any
contingencies of the kind that might arise, whether in respect of industrial capacity or in point of man-power,
if these resources were turned to this object with the same singleness of purpose and the same drastic
procedure that marks the course of a national establishment guided by no considerations short of imperial
dominion. The doubt presents itself rather as an apprehension that the cost would be extravagantly high, in all
respects in which cost can be counted; which is presently seconded, on very slight reflection and review of
experience, by recognition of the fact that a democracy is, in point of fact, not to be persuaded to stand under
arms interminably in mere readiness for a contingency, however distasteful the contingency may be.

In point of fact, a democratic commonwealth is moved by other interests in the main, and the common defense
is a secondary consideration, not a primary interest,[Pg 229]—unless in the exceptional case of a
commonwealth so placed under the immediate threat of invasion as to have the common defense forced into
the place of paramount consequence in its workday habits of thought. The American republic is not so placed.
Anyone may satisfy himself by reasonable second thought that the people of this nation are not to be counted
on to do their utmost in time of peace to prepare for war. They may be persuaded to do much more than has
been their habit, and adventurous politicians may commit them to much more than the people at large would
wish to undertake, but when all is done that can be counted on for a permanency, up to the limit of popular
tolerance, it would be a bold guess that should place the result at more than one-half of what the country is
capable of. Particularly would the people's patience balk at the extensive military training requisite to put the
country in an adequate position of defense against a sudden and well-prepared offensive. It is otherwise with a
dynastic State, to the directorate of which all other interests are necessarily secondary, subsidiary, and mainly
to be considered only in so far as they are contributory to the nation's readiness for warlike enterprise.

America at the same time is placed in an extra-hazardous position, between the two seas beyond which to
either side lie the two Imperial Powers whose place in the modern economy of nations it is to disturb the
peace in an insatiable quest of dominion. This position is no longer defensible in isolation, under the later
state of the industrial arts, and the policy of isolation that has guided the national policy hitherto is therefore
falling out of date. The question is as to the manner of its renunciation, rather than the fact of it. It may end in
a defensive co[Pg 230]partnership with other nations who are placed on the defensive by the same threatening
situation, or it may end in a bootless struggle for independence, but the choice scarcely extends beyond this
alternative. It will be said, of course, that America is competent to take care of itself and its Monroe doctrine
in the future as in the past. But that view, spoken for cogently by thoughtful men and by politicians looking
for party advantage, overlooks the fact that the modern technology has definitively thrown the advantage to
the offensive, and that intervening seas can no longer be counted on as a decisive obstacle. On this latter head,
what was reasonably true fifteen years ago is doubtful today, and it is in all reasonable expectation invalid for

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the situation fifteen years hence.

The other peoples that are of a neutral temper may need the help of America sorely enough in their
endeavours to keep the peace, but America's need of cooperation is sorer still, for the Republic is coming into
a more precarious place than any of the others. America is also, at least potentially, the most democratic of the
greater Powers, and is handicapped with all the disabilities of a democratic commonwealth in the face of war.
America is also for the present, and perhaps for the calculable future, the most powerful of these greater
Powers, in point of conceivably available resources, though not in actually available fighting-power; and the
entrance of America unreservedly into a neutral league would consequently be decisive both of the purposes
of the league and of its efficiency for the purpose; particularly if the neutralisation of interests among the
members of the league were carried so far as to make withdrawal and independent action disadvantageous.[Pg

On the establishment of such a neutral league, with such neutralisation of national interests as would assure
concerted action in time of stress, the need of armament on the part of the American republic would disappear,
at least to the extent that no increase of armed force would be advisable. The strength of the Republic lies in
its large and varied resources and the unequalled industrial capacity of its population,—a capacity
which is today seriously hampered by untoward business interests and business methods sheltered under
national discrimination, but which would come more nearly to its own so soon as these national
discriminations were corrected or abrogated in the neutralisation of national pretensions. The
neutrally-minded countries of Europe have been constrained to learn the art of modern war, as also to equip
themselves with the necessary appliances, sufficient to meet all requirements for keeping the peace through
such a period as can or need be taken into account,—provided the peace that is to come on the
conclusion of the present war shall be placed on so "conclusive" a footing as will make it anything
substantially more than a season of recuperation for that warlike Power about whose enterprise in dominion
the whole question turns. Provided that suitably "substantial guarantees" of a reasonable quiescence on the
part of this Imperial Power are had, there need be no increase of the American armament. Any increased
armament would in that case amount to nothing better than an idle duplication of plant and personnel already
on hand and sufficient to meet the requirements.

To meet the contingencies had in view in its formation, such a league would have to be neutralised to the
point that all pertinent national pretensions would fall into vir[Pg 232]tual abeyance, so that all the necessary
resources at the disposal of the federated nations would automatically come under the control of the league's
appointed authorities without loss of time, whenever the need might arise. That is to say, national interests and
pretensions would have to give way to a collective control sufficient to insure prompt and concerted action. In
the face of such a neutral league Imperial Japan alone would be unable to make a really serious diversion or to
entertain much hope of following up its quest of dominion. The Japanese Imperial establishment might even
be persuaded peaceably to let its unoffending neighbours live their own life according to their own light. It is,
indeed, possibly the apprehension of some such contingency that has hurried the rapacity of the Island Empire
into the headlong indecencies of the past year or two.[Pg 233]


Elimination of the Unfit

It may seem early (January 1917) to offer a surmise as to what must be the manner of league into which the
pacific nations are to enter and by which the peace will be kept, in case such a move is to be made. But the
circumstances that are to urge such a line of action, and that will condition its carrying out in case it is entered
on, have already come into bearing and should, on the whole, no longer be especially obscure to anyone who
will let the facts of the case rather than his own predilections decide what he will believe. By and large, the

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pressure of these conditioning circumstances may be seen, and the line of least resistance under this pressure
may be calculated, with due allowance of a margin of error owing to unknown contingencies of time and
minor variables.

Time is of the essence of the case. So that what would have been dismissed as idle vapour two years ago has
already become subject of grave deliberation today, and may rise to paramount urgency that far hence. Time
is needed to appreciate and get used to any innovation of appreciable gravity, particularly where the
innovation depends in any degree on a change in public sentiment, as in this instance. The present outlook
would seem to be that no excess of time is allowed in these premises; but it should also be noted that events
are moving with unexampled celerity, and are impinging on the popular ap[Pg 234]prehension with
unexampled force,—unexampled on such a scale. It is hoped that a recital of these circumstances that
provoke to action along this line will not seem unwarrantably tedious, and that a tentative definition of the line
of least resistance under pressure of these circumstances may not seem unwarrantably presumptuous.

The major premise in the case is the felt need of security from aggression at the hands of Imperial Germany
and its auxiliary Powers; seconded by an increasingly uneasy apprehension as to the prospective line of
conduct on the part of Imperial Japan, bent on a similar quest of dominion. There is also the less articulate
apprehension of what, if anything, may be expected from Imperial Russia; an obscure and scarcely definable
factor, which comes into the calculation chiefly by way of reenforcing the urgency of the situation created by
the dynastic ambitions of these other two Imperial States. Further, the pacific nations, the leading ones among
them being the French and English-speaking peoples, are coming to recognise that no one among them can
provide for its own security single-handed, even at the cost of their utmost endeavour in the way of what is
latterly called "preparedness;" and they are at the same time unwilling to devote their force unreservedly to
warlike preparation, having nothing to gain. The solution proposed is a league of the pacific nations,
commonly spoken of at the present stage as a league to enforce peace, or less ambitiously as a league to
enforce arbitration. The question being left somewhat at loose ends, whether the projected league is to include
the two or three Imperial Powers whose pacific intentions are, euphemistically, open to doubt.

Such is the outline of the project and its premises. An attempt to fill in this outline will, perhaps, conduce
to[Pg 235] an appreciation of what is sought and of what the conditioning circumstances will enforce in the
course of its realisation. As touches the fear of aggression, it has already been indicated, perhaps with
unnecessary iteration, that these two Imperial Powers are unable to relinquish the quest of dominion through
warlike enterprise, because as dynastic States they have no other ulterior aim; as has abundantly appeared in
the great volume of expository statements that have come out of the Fatherland the past few years, official,
semi-official, inspired, and spontaneous. "Assurance of the nation's future" is not translatable into any other
terms. The Imperial dynasty has no other ground to stand on, and can not give up the enterprise so long as it
can muster force for any formidable diversion, to get anything in the way of dominion by seizure, threat or

This is coming to be informally and loosely, but none the less definitively, realised by the pacific nations; and
the realisation of it is gaining in clearness and assurance as time passes. And it is backed by the conviction
that, in the nature of things, no engagement on the part of such a dynastic State has any slightest binding
force, beyond the material constraint that would enforce it from the outside. So the demand has been
diplomatically phrased as a demand for "substantial guarantees." Any gain in resources on the part of these
Powers is to be counted as a gain in the ways and means of disturbing the peace, without reservation.

The pacific nations include among them two large items, both of which are indispensable to the success of the
project, the United States and the United Kingdom. The former brings in its train, virtually without exception
or question, the other American republics, none of which[Pg 236] can practicably go in or stay out except in
company and collusion with the United States. The United Kingdom after the same fashion, and with scarcely
less assurance, may be counted on to carry the British colonies. Evidently, without both of these groups the

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project would not even make a beginning. Beyond this is to be counted in as elements of strength, though
scarcely indispensable, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. The other
west-European nations would in all probability be found in the league, although so far as regards its work and
its fortunes their adhesion would scarcely be a matter of decisive consequence; they may therefore be left
somewhat on one side in any consideration of the circumstances that would shape the league, its aims and its
limitations. The Balkan states, in the wider acceptance, they that frequent the Sign of the Double Cross, are
similarly negligible in respect of the organisation of such a league or its resources and the mutual concessions
necessary to be made between its chief members. Russia is so doubtful a factor, particularly as regards its
place and value in industry, culture and politics, in the near future, as to admit nothing much more than a
doubt on what its relation to the situation will be. The evil intentions of the Imperial-bureaucratic
establishment are probably no more to be questioned than the good intentions of the underlying peoples of
Russia. China will have to be taken in, if for no other reason than the use to which the magnificent resources
of that country would be turned by its Imperial neighbour in the absence of insurmountable interference from
outside. But China will come in on any terms that include neutrality and security.[Pg 237]

The question then arises as to the Imperial Powers whose dynastic enterprise is primarily to be hedged against
by such a league. Reflection will show that if the league is to effect any appreciable part of its purpose, these
Powers will also be included in the league, or at least in its jurisdiction. A pacific league not including these
Powers, or not extending its jurisdiction and surveillance to them and their conduct, would come to the same
thing as a coalition of nations in two hostile groups, the one standing on the defensive against the warlike
machinations of the other, and both groups bidding for the favor of those minor Powers whose traditions and
current aspirations run to national (dynastic) aggrandizement by way of political intrigue. It would come to a
more articulate and accentuated form of that balance of power that has latterly gone bankrupt in Europe, with
the most corrupt and unreliable petty monarchies of eastern Europe vested with a casting vote; and it would
also involve a system of competitive armaments of the same general character as what has also shown itself
bankrupt. It would, in other words, mean a virtual return to the status quo ante, but with an overt recognition
of its provisional character, and with the lines of division more sharply drawn. That is to say, it would amount
to reinstating the situation which the projected league is intended to avert. It is evidently contained in the
premises that the projected league must be all-inclusive, at least as regards its jurisdiction and surveillance.
The argument will return to this point presently.

The purpose of the projected league is peace and security, commonly spoken of under patriotic preconceptions
as "national" peace and security. This will have to mean a competent enforcement of peace, on such a footing
of[Pg 238] overmastering force at the disposal of the associated pacific nations as to make security a matter of
ordinary routine. It is true, the more genial spokesmen of the project are given to the view that what is to come
of it all is a comity of neutral nations, amicably adjusting their own relations among themselves in a spirit of
peace and good-will. But this view is over-sanguine, in that it overlooks the point that into this prospective
comity of nations Imperial Germany (and Imperial Japan) fit like a drunken savage with a machine gun. It
also overlooks the patent fatality that these two are bound to come into a coalition at the next turn, with
whatever outside and subsidiary resources they can draw on; provided only that a reasonable opening for
further enterprise presents itself. The league, in other terms, must be in a position to enforce peace by
overmastering force, and to anticipate any move at cross purposes with the security of the pacific nations.

This end can be reached by either one of two ways. If the dynastic States are left to their own devices, it will
be incumbent on the associated nations to put in the field a standing force sufficient to prevent a recourse to
arms; which means competitive armament and universal military rule. Or the dynastic States may be taken
into partnership and placed under such surveillance and constraint as to practically disarm them; which would
admit virtual disarmament of the federated nations. The former arrangement has nothing in its favour, except
the possibility that no better or less irksome arrangement can be had under existing circumstances; that is to
say that the pacific nations may not be able to bring these dynastic states to terms of disarmament under
surveillance. They assuredly can not except by force; and[Pg 239] this is the precise point on which the

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continued hostilities in Europe turn today. In diplomatic parable the German Imperial spokesmen say that they
can accept (or as they prefer to phrase it, grant) no terms that do not fully safeguard the Future of the
Fatherland; and in similarly diplomatic parable the spokesmen of the Entente insist that Prussian militarism
must be permanently put out of commission; but it all means the same thing, viz. that the Imperial
establishment is to be (or is not to be) disabled beyond the possibility of its entering on a similar warlike
enterprise again, when it has had time for recuperation. The dynastic statesmen, and the lay subjects of the
Imperial establishment, are strenuously set on securing a fair opportunity for recuperation and a wiser
endeavour to achieve that dominion which the present adventure promises to defeat; while the Entente want
no recurrence, and are persuaded that a recurrence can be avoided only on the footing of a present collapse of
the Imperial power and a scrupulously enforced prostration of it henceforth.

Without the definitive collapse of the Imperial power no pacific league of nations can come to anything much
more than armistice. On the basis of such a collapse the league may as well administer its affairs economically
by way of an all-around reduction of armaments, as by the costlier and more irksome way of "preparedness."
But a sensible reduction of armaments on the part of the neutral nations implies disarmament of the dynastic
States. Which would involve a neutral surveillance of the affairs of these dynastic States in such detail and
with such exercise of authority as would reduce their governments to the effective status of local
administrative officials. Out of which, in turn, would arise complications that[Pg 240] would lead to necessary
readjustments all along the line. It would involve the virtual, if not also the formal, abolition of the monarchy,
since the monarchy has no other use than that of international war and intrigue; or at least it would involve the
virtual abrogation of its powers, reducing it to the same status of faineantise as now characterises the British
crown. Evidently this means a serious intermeddling in the domestic concerns and arrangements of the
Fatherland, such as is not admissible under the democratic principle that any people must be left free to follow
their own inclinations and devices in their own concerns; at the same time that this degree of interference is
imperative if the peace is to be kept on any other footing than that of eternal vigilance and superior armed
force, with a people whose own inclinations and devices are of the kind now grown familiar in the German
case,—all of which also applies, with accentuation, in the case of Imperial Japan.

Some such policy of neutral surveillance in the affairs of these peoples whose pacific temper is under
suspicion, is necessarily involved in a plan to enforce peace by concert of the pacific nations, and it will
necessarily carry implications and farther issues, touching not only these supposedly recalcitrant peoples, but
also as regards the pacific nations themselves. Assuming always that the prime purpose and consistent aim of
the projected league is the peace and security of those pacific nations on whose initiative it is to be achieved,
then it should be reasonable to assume that the course of procedure in its organisation, administration and
further adaptations and adjustments must follow the logic of necessities leading to that end. He who wills the
end must make up his account with the means.[Pg 241]

The end in this case is peace and security; which means, for practical purposes, peace and good-will. Ill-will is
not a secure foundation of peace. Even the military strategists of the Imperial establishment recommend a
programme of "frightfulness" only as a convenient military expedient, essentially a provisional basis of
tranquility. In the long run and as a permanent peace measure it is doubtless not to the point. Security is
finally to be had among or between modern peoples only on the ground of a common understanding and an
impartially common basis of equity, or something approaching that basis as nearly as circumstances will
permit. Which means that in so far as the projected peace-compact is to take effect in any enduring way, and
leave the federated nations some degree of freedom from persistent apprehension and animosity, as well as
from habitual insecurity of life and limb, the league must not only be all-inclusive, but it must be inclusively
uniform in all its requirements and regulations.

The peoples of the quondam Imperial nations must come into the league on a footing of formal equality with
the rest. This they can not do without the virtual abdication of their dynastic governmental establishments and
a consequent shift to a democratic form of organisation, and a formal abrogation of class privileges and

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However, a virtual abdication or cancelment of the dynastic rule, such as to bring it formally into the same
class with the British crown, would scarcely meet the requirements in the case of the German Imperial
establishment; still more patently not in the case of Imperial Japan. If, following the outlines of the decayed
British crown, one or the other of these Imperial establishments[Pg 242] were by formal enactment reduced to
a state of nominal desuetude, the effect would be very appreciably different from what happens in the British
community, where the crown has lost its powers by failure of the requisite subordination on the part of the
people, and not by a formal abdication of rights. In the German case, and even more in the Japanese case, the
strength of the Imperial establishment lies in the unimpaired loyalty of the populace; which would remain
nearly intact at the outset, and would thin out only by insensible degrees in the sequel; so that if only the
Imperial establishment were left formally standing it would command the fealty of the common run in spite of
any formal abrogation of its powers, and the course of things would, in effect, run as before the break. In
effect, to bring about a shift to a democratic basis the dynastic slate would have to be wiped very clean indeed.
And this shift would be indispensable to the successful conduct of such a pacific league of nations, since any
other than an effectually democratic national establishment is to be counted on unfailingly to intrigue for
dynastic aggrandizement, through good report and evil.

In a case like that of Imperial Germany, with its federated States and subsidiaries, where royalty and nobility
still are potent preconceptions investing the popular imagination, and where loyal abnegation in the presence
of authority still is the chief and staple virtue of the common man,—in all such cases virtual abdication
of the dynastic initiative under constitutional forms can be had only by a formal and scrupulously complete
abrogation of all those legal and customary arrangements on which this irresponsible exercise of authority has
rested and through which it has taken effect. Neutralisation in these in[Pg 243]stances will mean reduction to
an unqualified democratic footing; which will, at least at the outset, not be acceptable to the common people,
and will be wholly intolerable to the ruling classes. Such a régime, therefore, while it is indispensable as a
working basis for a neutral league of peace, would from the outset have to be enforced against the most
desperate resistance of the ruling classes, headed by the dynastic statesmen and warlords, and backed by the
stubborn loyalty of the subject populace. It would have to mean the end of things for the ruling classes and the
most distasteful submission to an alien scheme of use and wont for the populace. And yet it is also an
indispensable element in any scheme of pacification that aims at permanent peace and security. In time, it may
well be believed, the people of the Fatherland might learn to do well enough without the gratuitous
domination of their ruling classes, but at the outset it would be a heartfelt privation.

It follows that a league to enforce peace would have to begin its régime with enforcing peace on terms of the
unconditional surrender of the formidable warlike nations; which could be accomplished only by the absolute
and irretrievable defeat of these Powers as they now stand. The question will, no doubt, present itself, Is the
end worth the cost? That question can, of course, not be answered in absolute terms, inasmuch as it resolves
itself into a question of taste and prepossession. An answer to it would also not be greatly to the purpose here,
since it would have no particular bearing on the course of action likely to be pursued by these pacific nations
in their quest of a settled peace. It is more to the point to ask what is likely to be the practical decision of
these[Pg 244] peoples on that head when the question finally presents itself in a concrete form.

Again it is necessary to call to mind that any momentous innovation which rests on popular sentiment will
take time; that consequently anything like a plébiscite on the question today would scarcely give a safe index
of what the decision is likely to be when presently put to the test; and that as things go just now, swiftly and
urgent, any time-allowance counts at something more than its ordinary workday coefficient. What can
apparently be said with some degree of confidence is that just now, during these two years past, sentiment has
been moving in the direction indicated, and that any growing inclination of the kind is being strongly
reenforced by a growing realisation that nothing but heroic remedies will avail at this juncture. If it comes to
be currently recognised that a settled peace can be had only at the cost of eradicating privilege and royalty

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from the warlike nations, it would seem reasonable to expect, from their present state of mind, that the pacific
nations will scarcely hesitate to apply that remedy,—provided always that the fortunes of war fall out
as that measure would require, and provided also that the conflict lasts long enough and severe enough to let
them make up their mind to anything so drastic.

There is a certain side issue bearing on this question of the ulterior probabilities of popular sentiment and
national policy as to what is to be done with the warlike nations in the event that the allied nations who fight
for neutrality have the disposal of such matters. This side issue may seem remote, and it may not unlikely be
overlooked among the mass of graver and more tangible con[Pg 245]siderations. It was remarked above that
the United Kingdom is one of the two chief pillars of the projected house of peace; and it may be added
without serious fear of contradiction or annoyance that the United Kingdom is also the one among these
pacific nations that comes nearest being capable, in the event of such an emergency, to take care of its own
case single-handed. For better or worse, British adhesion to the project is indispensable, and the British are in
a position virtually to name their own terms of adhesion. The British commonwealth—a very inclusive
phrase in this connection—must form the core of the pacific league, if any, and British sentiment will
have a very great place in the terms of its formation and in the terms which it will be inclined to offer the
Imperial coalition at the settlement.

Now, it happens that the British community entered on this war as a democratic monarchy ruled and officered
by a body of gentlemen—doubtless the most correct and admirable muster of gentlemen, of anything
approaching its volume, that the modern world can show. But the war has turned out not to be a gentlemen's
war. It has on the contrary been a war of technological exploits, reenforced with all the beastly devices of the
heathen. It is a war in which all the specific traits of the well-bred and gently-minded man are a handicap; in
which veracity, gallantry, humanity, liberality are conducive to nothing but defeat and humiliation. The
death-rate among the British gentlemen-officers in the early months, and for many months, ran extravagantly
high, for the most part because they were gallant gentlemen as well as officers imbued with the good, old
class spirit of noblesse oblige, that has made half the tradition and more than half the working theory of the
British officer in the field,—good,[Pg 246] but old, hopelessly out of date. That generation of officers
died, for the most part; being unfit to survive or to serve the purpose under these modern conditions of
warfare, to which their enemy on the other hand had adapted themselves with easy facility from beforehand.
The gentlemanly qualifications, and the material apparatus of gentility, and, it will perhaps have to be
admitted, the gentlemen, have fallen into the background, or perhaps rather have measurably fallen into
abeyance, among the officers of the line. There may be more doubt as to the state of things in respect of the
gentility of the staff, but the best that can confidently be said is that it is a point in doubt.

It is hoped that one may say without offense that in the course of time the personnel has apparently worked
down to the level of vulgarity defined by the ways and means of this modern warfare; which means the level
on which runs a familiar acquaintance with large and complex mechanical apparatus, railway and highway
transport and power, reenforced concrete, excavations and mud, more particularly mud, concealment and
ambush, and unlimited deceit and ferocity. It is not precisely that persons of pedigree and gentle breeding
have ceased to enter or seek entrance to employment as officers, still less that measures have been taken to
restrain their doing so or to eliminate from the service those who have come into it—though there may
present itself a doubt on this point as touches the more responsible discretionary positions—but only
that the stock of suitable gentlemen, uncommonly large as it is, has been overdrawn; that those who have
latterly gone into service, or stayed in, have perforce divested themselves of their gentility in some
appreciable measure, particularly as regards class distinction, and have fallen[Pg 247] on their feet in the more
commonplace role of common men.

Serviceability in this modern warfare is conditioned on much the same traits of temperament and training that
make for usefulness in the modern industrial processes, where large-scale coordinations of movement and an
effective familiarity with precise and far-reaching mechanical processes is an indispensable

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requirement,—indispensable in the same measure as the efficient conduct of this modern machine
industry is indispensable. But the British gentleman, in so far as he runs true to type, is of no use to modern
industry; quite the contrary, in fact. Still, the British gentleman is, in point of heredity, the same thing over
again as the British common man; so that, barring the misdirected training that makes him a gentleman, and
which can largely be undone under urgent need and pressure, he can be made serviceable for such uses as the
modern warfare requires. Meantime the very large demand for officers, and the insatiable demand for capable
officers, has brought the experienced and capable common man into the case and is in a fair way to discredit
gentility as a necessary qualification of field officers.

But the same process of discredit and elimination is also extending to the responsible officials who have the
administration of things in hand. Indeed, the course of vulgarisation among the responsible officials has now
been under way for some appreciable time and with very perceptible effect, and the rate of displacement
appears to be gathering velocity with every month that passes. Here, as in the field operations, it also appears
that gentlemanly methods, standards, preconceptions, and knowledge of men and things, is no longer to the
purpose. Here, too,[Pg 248] it is increasingly evident that this is not a gentlemen's war. And the traditional
qualifications that have sufficed in the past, at least to the extent of enabling the British management to
"muddle through," as they are proudly in the habit of saying,—these qualifications are of slight account
in this technological conjuncture of the nation's fortunes. It would perhaps be an under-statement to say that
these gentlemanly qualifications are no longer of any account, for the purpose immediately in hand, and it
would doubtless not do to say that they are wholly and unreservedly disserviceable as things run today; but
captious critics might find at least a precarious footing of argument on such a proposition.

Through the course of the nineteenth century the British government had progressively been taking on the
complexion of a "gentlemen's agreement;" a government by gentlemen, for gentlemen, and of gentlemen, too,
beyond what could well be alleged in any other known instance, though never wholly so. No government
could be a government of gentlemen exclusively, since there is no pecuniary profit in gentlemen as such, and
therefore no object in governing them; more particularly could there never be any incentive in it for
gentlemen, whose livelihood is, in the nature of the case, drawn from some one else. A gentlemen's
government can escape death by inanition only in so far as it serves the material interest of its class, as
contrasted with the underlying population from which the class draws its livelihood. This British arrangement
of a government by prudent and humane gentlemen with a view to the conservation of that state of things that
best conduced to the material well-being of their own class, has on the whole had the loyal support of the
underlying populace, with an occasional floundering[Pg 249] protest. But the protest has never taken the
shape of an expressed distrust of gentlemen, considered as the staple ways and means of government; nor has
the direction of affairs ever descended into the hands of any other or lower class or condition of men.

On the whole, this British arrangement for the control of national affairs by a body of interested
gentlemen-investors has been, and perhaps still is, just as well at home in the affectionate preconceptions of
the nineteenth-century British as the corresponding German usufruct by self-appointed swaggering aristocrats
has been among the underlying German population, or as the American arrangement of national control by
business men for business ends. The British and the American arrangements run very much to the same
substantial effect, of course, inasmuch as the British gentlemen represent, as a class, the filial generations of a
business community, and their aims and standards of conduct continue to be such as are enforced by the
pecuniary interests on which their gentility is conditioned. They continue to draw the ways and means of a
worthy life from businesslike arrangements of a "vested" character, made and provided with a view to their
nourishment and repose. Their resulting usufruct of the community's productive efforts rests on a vested
interest of a pecuniary sort, sanctioned by the sacred rights of property; very much as the analogous German
dynastic and aristocratic usufruct rests on personal prerogative, sanctioned by the sacred rights of authentic
prescription, without afterthought. The two, it will be noted are very much alike, in effect, "under the skin."
The great distinguishing mark being that the German usufructuary gentlemen are, in theory at least,
gentlemen-adventurers of prowess and proud words, whose[Pg 250] place in the world's economy it is to

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glorify God and disturb the peace; whereas their British analogues are gentlemen-investors, of blameless
propriety, whose place it is more simply to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

All this arrangement of a usufruct with a view to the reputable consumption of the community's superfluous
production has had the cordial support of British sentiment, perhaps fully as cordial as the German popular
subservience in the corresponding German scheme; both being well embedded in the preconceptions of the
common man. But the war has put it all to a rude test, and has called on the British gentlemen's executive
committee to take over duties for which it was not designed. The exigencies of this war of technological
exploits have been almost wholly, and very insistently, of a character not contemplated in the constitution of
such an executive committee of gentlemen-investors designed to safeguard class interests and promote their
pecuniary class advantage by a blamelessly inconspicuous and indirect management of national affairs. The
methods are of the class known colloquially among the vulgar-spoken American politicians as "pussyfooting"
and "log-rolling"; but always with such circumstance of magnitude, authenticity and well-bred deference to
precedent, as to give the resulting routine of subreption, trover and conversion, an air not only of benevolent
consideration but of austere morality.

But the most austere courtesy and the most authentically dispassionate division of benefits will not meet the
underbred exigencies of a war conducted on the mechanistic lines of the modern state of the industrial arts. So
the blameless, and for the purpose imbecile, executive committee of gentlemen-investors has been insensibly
los[Pg 251]ing the confidence and the countenance of the common man; who, when all is said, will always
have to do what is to be done. The order of gentlemanly parleying and brokery has, therefore, with many
apprehensions of calamity, been reluctantly and tardily giving ground before something that is of a visibly
underbred order. Increasingly underbred, and thereby insensibly approaching the character of this war
situation, but accepted with visible reluctance and apprehension both by the ruling class and by the underlying
population. The urgent necessity of going to such a basis, and of working out the matter in hand by an
unblushing recourse to that matter-of-fact logic of mechanical efficiency, which alone can touch the
difficulties of the case, but which has no respect of persons,—this necessity has been present from the
outset and has been vaguely apprehended for long past, but it is only tardily and after the chastening of heavy
penalties on this gentlemanly imbecility that a substantial move in that direction has been made. It has
required much British resolution to overcome the night-fear of going out into the unhallowed ground of
matter-of-fact, where the farthest earlier excursions of the governmental agencies had taken them no farther
than such financial transactions as are incident to the accomplishment of anything whatever in a commercial
nation. And then, too, there is a pecuniary interest in being interested in financial transactions.

This shifting of discretionary control out of the hands of the gentlemen into those of the underbred common
run, who know how to do what is necessary to be done in the face of underbred exigencies, may conceivably
go far when it has once been started, and it may go forward at an accelerated rate if the pressure of necessity
lasts long enough. If time be given for habituation to[Pg 252] this manner of directorate in national affairs, so
that the common man comes to realise how it is feasible to get along without gentlemen-investors holding the
discretion, the outcome may conceivably be very grave. It is a point in doubt, but it is conceivable that in such
a case the gentlemanly executive committee administering affairs in the light of the gentlemanly pecuniary
interest, will not be fully reinstated in the discretionary control of the United Kingdom for an appreciable
number of years after the return of peace. Possibly, even, the régime may be permanently deranged, and there
is even a shadowy doubt possible to be entertained as to whether the vested pecuniary rights, on which the
class of gentlemen rests, may not suffer some derangement, in case the control should pass into the hands of
the underbred and unpropertied for so long a season as to let the common man get used to thinking that the
vested interests and the sacred rights of gentility are so much ado about nothing.

Such an outcome would be extreme, but as a remote contingency it is to be taken into account. The privileged
classes of the United Kingdom should by this time be able to see the danger there may be for them and their
vested interests, pecuniary and moral, in an excessive prolongation of the war; in such postponement of peace

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as would afford time for a popular realisation of their incompetence and disserviceability as touches the
nation's material well-being under modern conditions. To let the nation's war experience work to such an
outcome, the season of war would have to be prolonged beyond what either the hopes or the fears of the
community have yet contemplated; but the point is after all worth noting, as being within the premises of the
case, that there is herein a remote contingency of losing, at least for a time, that unformulated[Pg 253] clause
in the British constitution which has hitherto restricted the holding of responsible office to men of pedigree
and of gentle breeding, or at least of very grave pecuniary weight; so grave as to make the incumbents virtual
gentlemen, with a virtual pedigree, and with a virtual gentleman's accentuated sense of class interest. Should
such an eventuality overtake British popular sentiment and belief there is also the remote contingency that the
rights of ownership and investment would lose a degree of sanctity.

It seems necessary to note a further, and in a sense more improbable, line of disintegration among modern
fixed ideas. Among the best entrenched illusions of modern economic preconceptions, and in economic as
well as legal theory, has been the indispensability of funds, and the hard and fast limitation of industrial
operations by the supply or with-holding of funds. The war experience has hitherto gone tentatively to show
that funds and financial transactions, of credit, bargain, sale and solvency, may be dispensed with under
pressure of necessity; and apparently without seriously hindering that run of mechanical fact, on which
interest in the present case necessarily centers, and which must be counted on to give the outcome. Latterly
the case is clearing up a little further, on further experience and under further pressure of technological
exigencies, to the effect that financial arrangements are indispensable in this connection only because and in
so far as it has been arranged to consider them indispensable; as in international trade. They are an
indispensable means of intermediation only in so far as pecuniary interests are to be furthered or safeguarded
in the intermediation. When, as has happened with the belligerents in the present instance, the national
establishment[Pg 254] becomes substantially insolvent, it is beginning to appear that its affairs can be taken
care of with less difficulty and with better effect without the use of financial expedients. Of course, it takes
time to get used to doing things by the more direct method and without the accustomed circumlocution of
accountancy, or the accustomed allowance for profits to go to interested parties who, under the financial
régime, hold a power of discretionary permission in all matters that touch the use of the industrial arts. Under
these urgent material exigencies, investment comes to have much of the appearance of a gratuitous drag and
drain on the processes of industry.

Here, again, is a sinister contingency; sinister, that is, for those vested rights of ownership by force of which
the owners of "capital" are enabled to permit or withhold the use of the industrial arts by the community at
large, on pain of privation in case the accustomed toll to the owners of capital is not paid. It is, of course, not
intended to find fault with this arrangement; which has the sanction of "time immemorial" and of a settled
persuasion that it lies at the root of all civilised life and intercourse. It is only that in case of extreme need this
presumed indispensable expedient of industrial control has broken down, and that experience is proving it to
be, in these premises, an item of borrowed trouble. Should experience continue to run on the same lines for an
appreciable period and at a high tension, it is at least conceivable that the vested right of owners to employ
unlimited sabotage in the quest of profits might fall so far into disrepute as to leave them under a qualified
doubt on the return of "normal" conditions. The common man, in other words, who gathers nothing but
privation and anxiety from the owners' discretionary sabotage, may conceivably stand to lose his[Pg 255]
preconception that the vested rights of ownership are the cornerstone of his life, liberty and pursuit of

The considerations recited in this lengthy excursion on the war situation and its probable effects on popular
habits of thought in the United Kingdom go to say that when peace comes to be negotiated, with the United
Kingdom as the chief constituent and weightiest spokesman of the allied nations and of the league of pacific
neutrals, the representatives of British aims and opinions are likely to speak in a different, chastened, and
disillusioned fashion, as contrasted with what the British attitude was at the beginning of hostilities. The
gentlemanly British animus of arrogant self-sufficiency will have been somewhat sobered, perhaps somewhat

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subdued. Concession to the claims and pretensions of the other pacific nations is likely to go farther than
might once have been expected, particularly in the way of concession to any demand for greater international
comity and less international discrimination; essentially concession looking to a reduction of national
pretensions and an incipient neutralisation of national interests. Coupled with this will presumably be a less
conciliatory attitude toward the members of the dynastic coalition against whom the war has been fought,
owing to a more mature realisation of the impossibility of a lasting peace negotiated with a Power whose
substantial core is a warlike and irresponsible dynastic establishment. The peace negotiations are likely to run
on a lower level of diplomatic deference to constituted authorities, and with more of a view to the interests
and sentiments of the underlying population, than was evident in the futile negotiations had at the outbreak of
hostilities. The gentle art of diplomacy, that engages the talents of exalted person[Pg 256]ages and well-bred
statesmen, has been somewhat discredited; and if it turns out that the vulgarisation of the directorate in the
United Kingdom and its associated allies and neutrals will have time to go on to something like dominance
and authenticity, then the deference which the spokesmen of these nations are likely to show for the
prescriptive rights of dynasty, nobility, bureaucracy, or even of pecuniary aristocracy, in the countries that
make up the party of the second part, may be expected to have shrunk appreciably, conceivably even to such
precarious dimensions as to involve the virtual neglect or possible downright abrogation of them, in sum and

Indeed, the chances of a successful pacific league of neutrals to come out of the current situation appear to be
largely bound up with the degree of vulgarisation due to overtake the several directorates of the belligerent
nations as well as the popular habits of thought in these and in the neutral countries, during the further course
of the war. It is too broad a generalisation, perhaps, to say that the longer the war lasts the better are the
chances of such a neutral temper in the interested nations as will make a pacific league practicable, but the
contrary would appear a much less defensible proposition. It is, of course, the common man that has the least
interest in warlike enterprise, if any, and it is at the same time the common man that bears the burden of such
enterprise and has also the most immediate interest in keeping the peace. If, slowly and pervasively, in the
course of hard experience, he learns to distrust the conduct of affairs by his betters, and learns at the same
move to trust to his own class to do what is necessary and to leave undone what is not, his deference to his
betters is likely to suffer a decline, such[Pg 257] as should show itself in a somewhat unguarded recourse to
democratic ways and means.

In short, there is in this progressive vulgarisation of effectual use and wont and of sentiment, in the United
Kingdom and elsewhere, some slight ground for the hope, or the apprehension, that no peace will be made
with the dynastic Powers of the second part until they cease to be dynastic Powers and take on the semblance
of democratic commonwealths, with dynasties, royalties and privileged classes thrown in the discard.

This would probably mean some prolongation of hostilities, until the dynasties and privileged classes had
completely exhausted their available resources; and, by the same token, until the privileged classes in the
more modern nations among the belligerents had also been displaced from direction and discretion by those
underbred classes on whom it is incumbent to do what is to be done; or until a juncture were reached that
comes passably near to such a situation. On the contingency of such a course of events and some such
outcome appears also to hang the chance of a workable pacific league. Without further experience of the
futility of upper-class and pecuniary control, to discredit precedent and constituted authority, it is scarcely
conceivable, e.g., that the victorious allies would go the length of coercively discarding the German Imperial
dynasty and the kept classes that with it constitute the Imperial State, and of replacing it with a democratic
organisation of the people in the shape of a modern commonwealth; and without a change of that nature,
affecting that nation and such of its allies as would remain on the map, no league of pacific neutrals would be
able to manage its affairs, even for a time, except on a war-footing that would involve a competitive
armament[Pg 258] against future dynastic enterprises from the same quarter. Which comes to saying that a
lasting peace is possible on no other terms than the disestablishment of the Imperial dynasty and the
abrogation of all feudalistic remnants of privilege in the Fatherland and its allies, together with the reduction

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of those countries to the status of commonwealths made up of ungraded men.

It is easy to speculate on what the conditions precedent to such a pacific league of neutrals must of necessity
be; but it is not therefore less difficult to make a shrewd guess as to the chances of these conditions being met.
Of these conditions precedent, the chief and foremost, without which any other favorable circumstances are
comparatively idle, is a considerable degree of neutralisation, extending to virtually all national interests and
pretensions, but more particularly to all material and commercial interests of the federated peoples; and,
indispensably and especially, such neutralisation would have to extend to the nations from whom aggression
is now apprehended, as, e.g., the German people. But such neutralisation could not conceivably reach the
Fatherland unless that nation were made over in the image of democracy, since the Imperial State is, by force
of the terms, a warlike and unneutral power. This would seem to be the ostensibly concealed meaning of the
allied governments in proclaiming that their aim is to break German militarism without doing harm to the
German people.

As touches the neutralisation of the democratically rehabilitated Fatherland, or in default of that, as touches
the peace terms to be offered the Imperial government, the prime article among the stipulations would seem to
be abolition of all trade discrimination against Germany or[Pg 259] by Germany against any other nationality.
Such stipulation would, of course, cover all manner of trade discrimination,—e.g., import, export and
excise tariff, harbor and registry dues, subsidy, patent right, copyright, trade mark, tax exemption whether
partial or exclusive, investment preferences at home and abroad,—in short it would have to establish a
thoroughgoing neutralisation of trade relations in the widest acceptation of the term, and to apply in
perpetuity. The like applies, of course, to all that fringe of subsidiary and outlying peoples on whom Imperial
Germany relies for much of its resources in any warlike enterprise. Such a move also disposes of the colonial
question in a parenthesis, so far as regards any special bond of affiliation between the Empire, or the
Fatherland, and any colonial possessions that are now thought desirable to be claimed. Under neutralisation,
colonies would cease to be "colonial possessions," being necessarily included under the general abrogation of
commercial discriminations, and also necessarily exempt from special taxation or specially favorable tax

Colonies there still would be, though it is not easy to imagine what would be the meaning of a "German
Colony" in such a case. Colonies would be free communities, after the fashion of New Zealand or Australia,
but with the further sterilisation of the bond between colony and mother country involved in the abolition of
all appointive offices and all responsibility to the crown or the imperial government. Now, there are no
German colonies in this simpler British sense of the term, which implies nothing more than community of
blood, institutions and language, together with that sense of solidarity between the colony and the mother
country which this community of pedigree and institutions will necessarily bring; but[Pg 260] while there are
today no German colonies, in the sense of the term so given, there is no reason to presume that no such
German colonies would come into bearing under the conditions of this prospective régime of neutrality
installed by such a pacific league, when backed by the league's guarantee that no colony from the Fatherland
will be exposed to the eventual risk of coming under the discretionary tutelage of the German Imperial
establishment and so falling into a relation of step-childhood to the Imperial dynasty.

As is well known, and as has by way of superfluous commonplace been set forth by a sometime Colonial
Secretary of the Empire, the decisive reason for there being no German colonies in existence is the
consistently impossible colonial policy of the German government, looking to the usufruct of the colonies by
the government, and the fear of further arbitrary control and nepotic discrimination at the pleasure of the
self-seeking dynastic establishment. It is only under Imperial rule that no German colony, in this modern
sense of the term, is possible; and only because Imperial rule does not admit of a free community being
formed by colonists from the Fatherland; or of an ostensibly free community of that kind ever feeling secure
from unsolicited interference with its affairs.

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The nearest approach to a German Colony, as contrasted with a "Colonial Possession," hitherto have been the
very considerable, number of escaped German subjects who have settled in English-speaking or
Latin-speaking countries, particularly in North and South America. And considering that the chief common
trait among them is their successful evasion of the Imperial government's heavy hand, they show an admirable
filial piety toward the[Pg 261] Imperial establishment; though troubled with no slightest regret at having
escaped from the Imperial surveillance and no slightest inclination to return to the shelter of the Imperial
tutelage. A colloquialism—"hyphenate"—has latterly grown up to meet the need of a term to
designate these evasive and yet patriotic colonists. It is scarcely misleading to say that the German-American
hyphenate, e.g., in so far as he runs true to form, is still a German subject with his heart, but he is an American
citizen with his head. All of which goes to argue that if the Fatherland were to fall into such a state of
democratic tolerance that no recidivist need carry a defensive hyphen to shield him from the importunate
attentions of the Imperial government, German colonies would also come into bearing; although, it is true,
they would have no value to the German government.

In the Imperial colonial policy colonies are conceived to stand to their Imperial guardian or master in a
relation between that of a step-child and that of an indentured servant; to be dealt with summarily and at
discretion and to be made use of without scruple. The like attitude toward colonies was once familiar
matter-of-course with the British and Spanish statesmen. The British found the plan unprofitable, and also
unworkable, and have given it up. The Spanish, having no political outlook but the dynastic one, could of
course not see their way to relinquish the only purpose of their colonial enterprise, except in relinquishing
their colonial possessions. The German (Imperial) colonial policy is and will be necessarily after the Spanish
pattern, and necessarily, too, with the Spanish results.

Under the projected neutral scheme there would be no colonial policy, and of course, no inducement to the
ac[Pg 262]quisition of colonies, since there would be no profit to be derived, or to be fancied, in the case. But
while no country, as a commonwealth, has any material interest in the acquisition or maintenance of colonies,
it is otherwise as regards the dynastic interests of an Imperial government; and it is also otherwise, at least in
the belief of the interested parties, as regards special businessmen or business concerns who are in a position
to gain something by help of national discrimination in their favor. As regards the pecuniary interests of
favored businessmen or business concerns, and of investors favored by national discrimination in colonial
relations, the case falls under the general caption of trade discrimination, and does not differ at all materially
from such expedients as a protective tariff, a ship subsidy, or a bounty on exports. But as regards the warlike,
that is to say dynastic, interest of an Imperial government the case stands somewhat different.

Colonial Possessions in such a case yield no material benefit to the country at large, but their possession is a
serviceable plea for warlike preparations with which to retain possession of the colonies in the face of
eventualities, and it is also a serviceable means of stirring the national pride and keeping alive a suitable spirit
of patriotic animosity. The material service actually to be derived from such possessions in the event of war is
a point in doubt, with the probabilities apparently running against their being of any eventual net use. But
there need be no question that such possessions, under the hand of any national establishment infected with
imperial ambitions, are a fruitful source of diplomatic complications, excuses for armament, international
grievances, and eventual aggression. A pacific league of neutrals can evidently not[Pg 263] tolerate the
retention of colonial possessions by any dynastic State that may be drawn into the league or under its
jurisdiction, as, e.g., the German Empire in case it should be left on an Imperial footing. Whereas, in case the
German peoples are thrown back on a democratic status, as neutralised commonwealths without a crown or a
military establishment, the question of their colonial possessions evidently falls vacant.

As to the neutralisation of trade relations apart from the question of colonies, and as bears on the case of
Germany under the projected jurisdiction of a pacific league of neutrals, the considerations to be taken
account of are of much the same nature. As it would have to take effect, e.g., in the abolition of commercial
and industrial discriminations between Germany and the pacific nations, such neutralisation would doubtless

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confer a lasting material benefit on the German people at large; and it is not easy to detect any loss or
detriment to be derived from such a move so long as peace prevails. Protective, that is to say discriminating,
export, import, or excise duties, harbor and registry dues, subsidies, tax exemptions and trade preferences, and
all the like devices of interference with trade and industry, are unavoidably a hindrance to the material
interests of any people on whom they are imposed or who impose these disabilities on themselves. So that
exemption from these things by a comprehensive neutralisation of trade relations would immediately benefit
all the nations concerned, in respect of their material well-being in times of peace. There is no exception and
no abatement to be taken account of under this general statement, as is well known to all men who are
conversant with these matters.[Pg 264]

But it is otherwise as regards the dynastic interest in the case, and as regards any national interest in warlike
enterprise. It is doubtless true that all restraint of trade between nations, and between classes or localities
within the national frontiers, unavoidably acts to weaken and impoverish the people on whose economic
activities this restraint is laid; and to the extent to which this effect is had it will also be true that the country
which so is hindered in its work will have a less aggregate of resources to place at the disposal of its
enterprising statesmen for imperialist ends. But these restraints may yet be useful for dynastic, that is to say
warlike, ends by making the country more nearly a "self-contained economic whole." A country becomes a
"self-contained economic whole" by mutilation, in cutting itself off from the industrial system in which
industrially it belongs, but in which it is unwilling nationally to hold its place. National frontiers are industrial
barriers. But as a result of such mutilation of its industrial life such a country is better able—it has been
believed—to bear the shock of severing its international trade relations entirely, as is likely to happen
in case of war.

In a large country, such as America or Russia, which comprises within its national boundaries very extensive
and very varied resources and a widely distributed and diversified population, the mischief suffered from
restraints of trade that hinder industrial relations with the world at large will of course be proportionately
lessened. Such a country comes nearer being a miniature industrial world; although none of the civilised
nations, large or small, can carry on its ordinary industrial activities and its ordinary manner of life without
drawing on foreign parts to some appreciable extent. But a country of small terri[Pg 265]torial extent and of
somewhat narrowly restricted natural resources, as, e.g., Germany or France, can even by the most drastic
measures of restraint and mutilation achieve only a very mediocre degree of industrial isolation and
"self-sufficiency,"—as has, e.g., appeared in the present war. But in all cases, though in varying
measure, the mitigated isolation so enforced by these restraints on trade will in their degree impair the
country's industrial efficiency and lower the people's material well-being; yet, if the restrictions are shrewdly
applied this partial isolation and partial "self-sufficiency" will go some way toward preparing the nation for
the more thorough isolation that follows on the outbreak of hostilities.

The present plight of the German people under war conditions may serve to show how nearly that end may be
attained, and yet how inadequate even the most unreserved measures of industrial isolation must be in face of
the fact that the modern state of the industrial arts necessarily draws on the collective resources of the world at
large. It may well be doubted, on an impartial view, if the mutilation of the country's industrial system by such
measures of isolation does not after all rather weaken the nation even for warlike ends; but then, the
discretionary authorities in the dynastic States are always, and it may be presumed necessarily, hampered with
obsolete theories handed down from that cameralistic age, when the little princes of the Fatherland were
making dynastic history. So, e.g., the current, nineteenth and twentieth century, economic policy of the
Prussian-Imperial statesmen is still drawn on lines within which Frederick II, called the Great, would have felt
well at home.

Like other preparation for hostilities this reduction of the country to the status of a self-contained economic
or[Pg 266]ganisation is costly, but like other preparation for hostilities it also puts the nation in a position of
greater readiness to break off friendly relations with its neighbors. It is a war measure, commonly spoken for

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by its advocates as a measure of self-defense; but whatever the merits of the self-defenders' contention, this
measure is a war measure. As such it can reasonably claim no hearing in the counsels of a pacific league of
neutrals, whose purpose it is to make war impracticable. Particularly can there be no reasonable question of
admitting a policy of trade discrimination and isolation on the part of a nation which has, for purposes of
warlike aggression, pursued such a policy in the past, and which it is the immediate purpose of the league to
bind over to keep the peace.

There has been a volume of loose talk spent on the justice and expediency of boycotting the trade of the
peoples of the Empire after the return of peace, as a penalty and as a preventive measure designed to retard
their recovery of strength with which to enter on a further warlike enterprise. Such a measure would
necessarily be somewhat futile; since "Business is business," after all, and the practical limitations imposed on
an unprofitable boycott by the moral necessity to buy cheap and sell dear that rests on all businessmen would
surreptitiously mitigate it to the point of negligibility. It is inconceivable—or it would be inconceivable
in the absence of imbecile politicians and self-seeking businessmen—that measures looking to the trade
isolation of any one of these countries could be entertained as a point of policy to be pursued by a league of
neutrals. And it is only in so far as patriotic jealousy and vindictive sentiments are allowed to displace the
aspiration for peace and security, that such measures can claim consideration. Considered as a pen[Pg
267]alty to be imposed on the erring nations who set this warlike adventure afoot, it should be sufficiently
plain that such a measure as a trade boycott could not touch the chief offenders, or even their responsible
abettors. It would, rather, play into the hands of the militarist interests by keeping alive the spirit of national
jealousy and international hatred, out of which wars arise and without which warlike enterprise might
hopefully be expected to disappear out of the scheme of human intercourse. The punishment would fall, as all
economic burdens and disabilities must always fall, on the common man, the underlying population.

The chief relation of this common run, this underlying population of German subjects, to the inception and
pursuit of this Imperial warlike enterprise, is comprised in the fact that they are an underlying population of
subjects, held in usufruct by the Imperial establishment and employed at will. It is true, they have lent
themselves unreservedly to the uses for which the dynasty has use for them, and they have entered
enthusiastically into the warlike adventure set afoot by the dynastic statesmen; but that they have done so is
their misfortune rather than their fault. By use and wont and indoctrination they have for long been
unremittingly, and helplessly, disciplined into a spirit of dynastic loyalty, national animosity and servile
abnegation; until it would be nothing better than a pathetic inversion of all the equities of the case to visit the
transgressions of their masters upon the common run; whose fault lies, after all, in their being an underlying
population of subjects, who have not had a chance to reach that spiritual level on which they could properly be
held accountable for the uses to which they are turned. It is true, men are ordinarily punished for their
misfor[Pg 268]tunes; but the warlike enterprise of the Imperial dynasty has already brought what might fairly
be rated as a good measure of punishment on this underlying populace, whose chief fault and chief misfortune
lies in an habitual servile abnegation of those traits of initiative and discretion in man that constitute him an
agent susceptible of responsibility or retribution.

It would be all the more of a pathetic mockery to visit the transgressions of their masters on these victims of
circumstance and dynastic mendacity, since the conventionalities of international equity will scarcely permit
the high responsible parties in the case to be chastised with any penalty harsher than a well-mannered figure
of speech. To serve as a deterrent, the penalty must strike the point where vests the discretion; but servile use
and wont is still too well intact in these premises to let any penalty touch the guilty core of a profligate
dynasty. Under the wear and tear of continued war and its incident continued vulgarisation of the directorate
and responsible staff among the pacific allies, the conventional respect of persons is likely to suffer
appreciable dilapidation; but there need be no apprehension of such a loss of decent respect for personages as
would compromise the creature comforts of that high syndicate of personages on whose initiative the
Fatherland entered upon this enterprise in dominion.

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Bygone shortcomings and transgressions can have no reasonable place in the arrangements by which a pacific
league of neutrals designs to keep the peace. Neither can bygone prerogatives and precedents of magnificence
and of mastery, except in so far as they unavoidably must come into play through the inability of men to
divest themselves of their ingrained preconceptions, by virtue of which[Pg 269] a Hohenzollern or a
Hapsburger is something more formidable and more to be considered than a recruiting sergeant or a purveyor
of light literature. The league can do its work of pacification only by elaborately forgetting differences and
discrepancies of the kind that give rise to international grievances. Which is the same as saying that the
neutralisation of national discriminations and pretensions will have to go all the way, if it is to serve. But this
implies, as broadly as need be, that the pacific nations who make the league and provisionally administer its
articles of agreement and jurisdiction, can not exempt themselves from any of the leveling measures of
neutralisation to which the dynastic suspects among them are to be subject. It would mean a relinquishment of
all those undemocratic institutional survivals out of which international grievances are wont to arise. As a
certain Danish adage would have it, the neutrals of the league must all be shorn over the same comb.

What is to be shorn over this one comb of neutralisation and democracy is all those who go into the pacific
league of neutrals and all who come under its jurisdiction, whether of their own choice or by the necessities of
the case. It is of the substance of the case that those peoples who have been employed in the campaigns of the
German-Imperial coalition are to come in on terms of impartial equality with those who have held the ground
against them; to come under the jurisdiction, and prospectively into the copartnery, of the league of
neutrals—all on the presumption that the Imperial coalition will be brought to make peace on terms of
unconditional surrender.

Let it not seem presumptuous to venture on a recital of summary specifications intended to indicate the nature
of[Pg 270] those concrete measures which would logically be comprised in a scheme of pacification carried
out with such a view to impartial equality among the peoples who are to make up the projected league. There
is a significant turn of expression that recurs habitually in the formulation of terms put forth by the spokesmen
of the Entente belligerents, where it is insisted that hostilities are carried on not against the German people or
the other peoples associated with them, but only against the Imperial establishments and their culpable aids
and abettors in the enterprise. So it is further insisted that there is no intention to bring pains and penalties on
these peoples, who so have been made use of by their masters, but only on the culpable master class whose
tools these peoples have been. And later, just now (January 1917), and from a responsible and disinterested
spokesman for the pacific league, there comes the declaration that a lasting peace at the hands of such a league
can be grounded only in a present "peace without victory."

The mutual congruity of these two declarations need not imply collusion, but they are none the less
complementary propositions and they are none the less indicative of a common trend of convictions among
the men who are best able to speak for those pacific nations that are looked to as the mainstay of the
prospective league. They both converge to the point that the objective to be achieved is not victory for the
Entente belligerents but defeat for the German-Imperial coalition; that the peoples underlying the defeated
governments are not to be dealt with as vanquished enemies but as fellows in undeserved misfortune brought
on by their culpable masters; and that no advantage is designed to be taken of these peoples, and no gratuitous
hardship to be imposed on them.[Pg 271] Their masters are evidently to be put away, not as defeated
antagonists but as a public nuisance to be provided against as may seem expedient for the peace and security
of those nations whom they have been molesting.

Taking this position as outlined, it should not be extremely difficult to forecast the general line of procedure
which it would logically demand,—barring irrelevant regard for precedents and overheated resentment,
and provided that the makers of these peace terms have a free hand and go to their work with an eye single to
the establishment of an enduring peace. The case of Germany would be typical of all the rest; and the main
items of the bill in this case would seem logically to run somewhat as follows:

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(1) The definitive elimination of the Imperial establishment, together with the monarchical establishments of
the several states of the Empire and the privileged classes;

(2) Removal or destruction of all warlike equipment, military and naval, defensive and offensive;

(3) Cancelment of the public debt, of the Empire and of its members—creditors of the Empire being
accounted accessory to the culpable enterprise of the Imperial government;

(4) Confiscation of such industrial equipment and resources as have contributed to the carrying on of the war,
as being also accessory;

(5) Assumption by the league at large of all debts incurred, by the Entente belligerents or by neutrals, for the
prosecution or by reason of the war, and distribution of the obligation so assumed, impartially among the
members of the league, including the peoples of the defeated nations;[Pg 272]

(6) Indemnification for all injury done to civilians in the invaded territories; the means for such
indemnification to be procured by confiscation of all estates in the defeated countries exceeding a certain very
modest maximum, calculated on the average of property owned, say, by the poorer three-fourths of the
population,—the kept classes being properly accounted accessory to the Empire's culpable enterprise.

The proposition to let the war debt be shared by all members of the league on a footing of impartial equality
may seem novel, and perhaps extravagant. But all projects put forth for safeguarding the world's peace by a
compact among the pacific nations run on the patent, though often tacit, avowal that the Entente belligerents
are spending their substance and pledging their credit for the common cause. Among the Americans, the chief
of the neutral nations, this is coming to be recognised more and more overtly. So that, in this instance at least,
no insurmountable reluctance to take over their due share of the common burden should fairly be looked for,
particularly when it appears that the projected league, if it is organised on a footing of neutrality, will relieve
the republic of virtually all outlay for their own defense.

Of course, there is, in all this, no temerarious intention to offer advice as to what should be done by those who
have it to do, or even to sketch the necessary course which events are bound to take. As has been remarked in
another passage, that would have to be a work of prophesy or of effrontery, both of which, it is hoped, lie
equally beyond the horizon of this inquiry; which is occupied with the question of what conditions will
logically have to be met in order to an enduring peace, not what will be the nature and outcome of
negotiations entered into[Pg 273] by astute delegates pursuing the special advantage, each of his own nation.
And yet the peremptory need of reaching some practicable arrangement whereby the peace may be kept, goes
to say that even the most astute negotiations will in some degree be controlled by that need, and may
reasonably be expected to make some approach to the simple and obvious requirements of the situation.

Therefore the argument returns to the United Kingdom and the probable limit of tolerance of that people, in
respect of what they are likely to insist on as a necessary measure of democratisation in the nations of the
second part, and what measure of national abnegation they are likely to accommodate themselves to. The
United Kingdom is indispensable to the formation of a pacific league of neutrals. And the British terms of
adhesion, or rather of initiation of such a league, therefore, will have to constitute the core of the structure, on
which details may be adjusted and to which concessive adjustments will have to be made by all the rest. This
is not saying that the projected league must or will be dominated by the United Kingdom or administered in
the British interest. Indeed, it can not well be made to serve British particular interests in any appreciable
degree, except at the cost of defeat to its main purpose; since the purposes of an enduring peace can be served
only by an effectual neutralisation of national claims and interests. But it would mean that the neutralisation
of national interests and discriminations to be effected would have to be drawn on lines acceptable to British
taste in these matters, and would have to go approximately so far as would be dictated by the British notions

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of what is expedient, and not much farther. The pacific league of neutrals would have much of a British[Pg
274] air, but "British" in this connection is to be taken as connoting the English-speaking countries rather than
as applying to the United Kingdom alone; since the entrance of the British into the league would involve the
entrance of the British colonies, and, indeed, of the American republic as well.

The temper and outlook of this British community, therefore, becomes a matter of paramount importance in
any attempted analysis of the situation resulting after the war, or of any prospective course of conduct to be
entered on by the pacific nations. And the question touches not so much the temper and preconceptions of the
British community as known in recent history, but rather as it is likely to be modified by the war experience.
So that the practicability of a neutral league comes to turn, in great measure, on the effect which this war
experience is having on the habits of thought of the British people, or on that section of the British population
which will make up the effectual majority when the war closes. The grave interest that attaches to this
question must serve as justification for pursuing it farther, even though there can be no promise of a definite
or confident answer to be found beforehand.

Certain general assertions may be made with some confidence. The experiences of the war, particularly
among the immediate participants and among their immediate domestic connections—a large and
increasing proportion of the people at large—are plainly impressing on them the uselessness and
hardship of such a war. There can be no question but they are reaching a conviction that a war of this modern
kind and scale is a thing to be avoided if possible. They are, no doubt, willing to go to very considerable
lengths to make a repetition of it impossible, and[Pg 275] they may reasonably be expected to go farther along
that line before peace returns. But the lengths to which they are ready to go may be in the way of concessions,
or in the way of contest and compulsion. There need be no doubt but a profound and vindictive resentment
runs through the British community, and there is no reason to apprehend that this will be dissipated in the
course of further hostilities; although it should fairly be expected to lose something of its earlier exuberant
malevolence and indiscrimination, more particularly if hostilities continue for some time. It is not too much to
expect, that this popular temper of resentment will demand something very tangible in the way of summary
vengeance on those who have brought the hardships of war upon the nation.

The manner of retribution which would meet the popular demand for "justice" to be done on the enemy is
likely to be affected by the fortunes of war, as also the incidence of it. Should the governmental establishment
and the discretion still vest in the gentlemanly classes at the close of hostilities, the retribution is likely to take
the accustomed gentlemanly shape of pecuniary burdens imposed on the people of the defeated country,
together with diplomatically specified surrender of territorial and colonial possessions, and the like; such as to
leave the de facto enemy courteously on one side, and to yield something in the way of pecuniary benefit to
the gentlemen-investors in charge, and something more in the way of new emoluments of office to the
office-holding class included in the same order of gentlemen. The retribution in the case would manifestly fall
on the underlying population in the defeated country, without seriously touching the responsible parties, and
would leave the defeated nation with a new grievance to nourish its patriotic animosity and with[Pg 276] a
new incentive to a policy of watchful waiting for a chance of retaliation.

But it is to be noted that under the stress of the war there is going forward in the British community a
progressive displacement of gentlemanly standards and official procedure by standards and procedure of a
visibly underbred character, a weakening of the hold of the gentlemanly classes on the control of affairs and a
weakening of the hold which the sacred rights of property, investment and privilege have long had over the
imagination of the British people. Should hostilities continue, and should the exigencies of the war situation
continue to keep the futility of these sacred rights, as well as the fatuity of their possessors, in the public eye,
after the same fashion as hitherto, it would not be altogether unreasonable to expect that the discretion would
pass into the hands of the underbred, or into the hands of men immediately and urgently accountable to the
underbred. In such a case, and with a constantly growing popular realisation that the directorate and
responsible enemy in the war is the Imperial dynasty and its pedigreed aids and abettors, it is conceivable that

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the popular resentment would converge so effectually on these responsible instigators and directors of
misfortune as to bring the incidence of the required retribution effectually to bear on them. The outcome
might, not inconceivably, be the virtual erasure of the Imperial dynasty, together with the pedigreed-class rule
on which it rests and the apparatus of irresponsible coercion through which it works, in the Fatherland and in
its subsidiaries and dependencies.

With a sufficiently urgent realisation of their need of peace and security, and with a realisation also that the
way to avoid war is to avoid the ways and means of in[Pg 277]ternational jealousy and of the national
discriminations out of which international jealousy grows, it is conceivable that a government which should
reflect the British temper and the British hopes might go so far in insisting on a neutralisation of the peoples
of the Fatherland as would leave them without the dynastic apparatus with which warlike enterprise is set
afoot, and so leave them also perforce in a pacific frame of mind. In time, in the absence of their dearly
beloved leavings of feudalism, an enforced reliance on their own discretion and initiative, and an enforced
respite from the rant and prance of warlike swagger, would reasonably be expected to grow into a popular
habit. The German people are by no means less capable of tolerance and neighbourly decorum than their
British or Scandinavian neighbours of the same blood,—if they can only be left to their own devices,
untroubled by the maggoty conceit of national domination.

There is no intention herewith to express an expectation that this out-and-out neutralisation of the Fatherland's
international relations and of its dynastic government will come to pass on the return of peace, or that the
German people will, as a precaution against recurrent Imperial rabies, be organised on a democratic pattern by
constraint of the pacific nations of the league. The point is only that this measure of neutralisation appears to
be the necessary condition, in the absence of which no such neutral league can succeed, and that so long as the
war goes on there is something of a chance that the British community may in time reach a frame of mind
combining such settled determination to safeguard the peace at all costs, with such a degree of disregard for
outworn conventions, that their spokesmen in the negotiations may push the neutralisation of these peoples to
that length.[Pg 278]

The achievement of such an outcome would evidently take time as well as harsh experience, more time and
harsher experience, perhaps, than one likes to contemplate.

Most men, therefore, would scarcely rate the chance of such an outcome at all high. And yet it is to be called
to mind that the war has lasted long and the effect of its demands and its experience has already gone far, and
that the longer it lasts the greater are the chances of its prolongation and of its continued hardships, at least to
the extent that with every month of war that passes the prospect of the allied nations making peace on any
terms short of unconditional surrender grows less. And unconditional surrender is the first step in the direction
of an unconditional dispossession of the Imperial establishment and its war prophets,—depending
primarily on the state of mind of the British people at the time. And however unlikely, it is also always
possible, as some contend, that in the course of further war experience the common man in the Fatherland
may come to reflect on the use and value of the Imperial establishment, with the result of discarding and
disowning it and all its works. Such an expectation would doubtless underrate the force of ancient habit, and
would also involve a misapprehension of the psychological incidence of a warlike experience. The German
people have substantially none of those preconceptions of independence and self-direction to go on, in the
absence of which an effectual revulsion against dynastic rule can not come to pass.

Embedded in the common sense of the British population at large is a certain large and somewhat sullen sense
of fair dealing. In this they are not greatly different from their neighbours, if at all, except that the body of
common[Pg 279] sense in which this British sense of fair dealing lies embedded is a maturer fashion of
common sense than that which serves to guide the workday life of many of their neighbours. And the maturity
in question appears to be chiefly a matter of their having unlearned, divested themselves of, or been by force
of disuse divested of, an exceptionally large proportion of that burden of untoward conceits which western

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Europe, and more particularly middle Europe, at large has carried over from the Middle Ages. They have had
time and occasion to forget more of what the exigencies of modern life make it expedient to have forgotten.
And yet they are reputed slow, conservative. But they have been well placed for losing much of what would
be well lost.

Among other things, their preconception of national animosity is not secure, in the absence of provocation.
They are now again in a position to learn to do without some of the useless legacy out of the
past,—useless, that is, for life as it runs today, however it may be rated in the setting in which it was all
placed in that past out of which it has come. And the question is whether now, under the pressure of
exigencies that make for a disestablishment of much cumbersome inherited apparatus for doing what need not
be done, they will be ruled by their sense of expediency and of fair dealing to the extent of cancelling out of
their own scheme of life so much of this legacy of conventional preconceptions as has now come visibly to
hinder their own material well-being, and at the same time to defeat that peace and security for which they
have shown themselves willing to fight. It is, of course, a simpler matter to fight than it is to put away a
preconceived, even if it is a bootless, superstition; as, e.g., the prestige of hereditary wealth, hereditary
gentil[Pg 280]ity, national vainglory, and perhaps especially national hatred. But if the school is hard enough
and the discipline protracted enough there is no reason in the nature of things why the common run of the
British people should not unlearn these futilities that once were the substance of things under an older and
outworn order. They have already shown their capacity for divesting themselves of outworn institutional
bonds, in discarding the main substance of dynastic rule; and when they now come to face the exigencies of
this new situation it should cause no great surprise if they are able to see their way to do what further is
necessary to meet these exigencies.

At the hands of this British commonwealth the new situation requires the putting away of the German
Imperial establishment and the military caste; the reduction of the German peoples to a footing of unreserved
democracy with sufficient guarantees against national trade discriminations; surrender of all British tutelage
over outlying possessions, except what may go to guarantee their local autonomy; cancelment of all
extra-territorial pretensions of the several nations entering into the league; neutralisation of the several
national establishments, to comprise virtual disarmament, as well as cancelment of all restrictions on trade and
of all national defense of extra-territorial pecuniary claims and interests on the part of individual citizens. The
naval control of the seas will best be left in British hands. No people has a graver or more immediate interest
in the freedom and security of the sea-borne trade; and the United Kingdom has shown that it is to be trusted
in that matter. And then it may well be that neither the national pride nor the apprehensions of the British
people would allow them to surren[Pg 281]der it; whereas, if the league is to be formed it will have to be on
terms to which the British people are willing to adhere. A certain provision of armed force will also be needed
to keep the governments of unneutral nations in check,—and for the purpose in hand all effectively
monarchical countries are to be counted as congenitally unneutral, whatever their formal professions and
whether they are members of the league or not. Here again it will probably appear that the people of the
United Kingdom, and of the English-speaking countries at large, will not consent to this armed force and its
discretionary use passing out of British hands, or rather out of French-British hands; and here again the
practical decision will have to wait on the choice of the British people, all the more because the British
community has no longer an interest, real or fancied, in the coercive use of this force for their own particular
ends. No other power is to be trusted, except France, and France is less well placed for the purpose and would
assuredly also not covet so invidious an honour and so thankless an office.

The theory, i.e. the logical necessities, of such a pacific league of neutral nations is simple enough, in its
elements. War is to be avoided by a policy of avoidance. Which signifies that the means and the motives to
warlike enterprise and warlike provocation are to be put away, so far as may be. If what may be, in this
respect, does not come up to the requirements of the case, the experiment, of course, will fail. The preliminary
requirement,—elimination of the one formidable dynastic State in Europe,—has been spoken of.

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Its counterpart in the Far East will cease to be formidable on the decease of its natural ally in Central Europe,
in so[Pg 282] far as touches the case of such a projected league. The ever increasingly dubious empire of the
Czar would appear to fall in the same category. So that the pacific league's fortunes would seem to turn on
what may be called its domestic or internal arrangements.

Now, the means of warlike enterprise, as well as of unadvised embroilment, is always in the last analysis the
patriotic spirit of the nation. Given this patriotic spirit in sufficient measure, both the material equipment and
the provocation to hostilities will easily be found. It should accordingly appear to be the first care of such a
pacific league to reduce the sources of patriotic incitement to the practicable minimum. This can be done, in
such measure as it can be done at all, by neutralisation of national pretensions. The finished outcome in this
respect, such as would assure perpetual peace among the peoples concerned, would of course be an
unconditional neutralisation of citizenship, as has already been indicated before. The question which, in effect,
the spokesmen for a pacific league have to face is as to how nearly that outcome can be brought to pass. The
rest of what they may undertake, or may come to by way of compromise and stipulation, is relatively
immaterial and of relatively transient consequence.

A neutralisation of citizenship has of course been afloat in a somewhat loose way in the projects of socialistic
and other "undesirable" agitators, but nothing much has come of it. Nor have specific projects for its
realisation been set afoot. That anything conclusive along that line could now be reached would seem
extremely doubtful, in view of the ardent patriotic temper of all these peoples, heightened just now by the
experience of war. Still, an undesigned and unguided drift in that direction has been visible[Pg 283] in all
those nations that are accounted the vanguard among modern civilised peoples, ever since the dynastic rule
among them began to be displaced by a growth of "free" institutions, that is to say institutions resting on an
accepted ground of insubordination and free initiative.

The patriotism of these peoples, or their national spirit, is after all and at the best an attenuated and
impersonalised remnant of dynastic loyalty, and it amounts after all, in effect, to nothing much else than a
residual curtailment or partial atrophy of that democratic habit of mind that embodies itself in the formula:
Live and let live. It is, no doubt, both an ancient and a very meritorious habit. It is easily acquired and hard to
put away. The patriotic spirit and the national life (prestige) on which it centers are the subject of untiring
eulogy; but hitherto its encomiasts have shown no cause and put forward no claim to believe that it all is of
any slightest use for any purpose that does not take it and its paramount merit for granted. It is doubtless a
very meritorious habit; at least so they all say. But under the circumstances of modern civilised life it is
fruitful of no other net material result than damage and discomfort. Still it is virtually ubiquitous among
civilised men, and in an admirable state of repair; and for the calculable future it is doubtless to be counted in
as an enduring obstacle to a conclusive peace, a constant source of anxiety and unremitting care.

The motives that work out through this national spirit, by use of this patriotic ardor, fall under two heads:
dynastic ambition, and business enterprise. The two categories have the common trait that neither the one nor
the other comprises anything that is of the slightest material benefit to the community at large; but both
have[Pg 284] at the same time a high prestige value in the conventional esteem of modern men. The relation
of dynastic ambition to warlike enterprise, and the uses of that usufruct of the nation's resources and
man-power which the nation's patriotism places at the disposal of the dynastic establishment, have already
been spoken of at length above, perhaps at excessive length, in the recurrent discussion of the dynastic State
and its quest of dominion for dominion's sake. What measures are necessary to be taken as regards the
formidable dynastic States that threaten the peace, have also been outlined, perhaps with excessive freedom.

But it remains to call attention to that mitigated form of dynastic rule called a constitutional monarchy.
Instances of such a constitutional monarchy, designed to conserve the well-beloved abuses of dynastic rule
under a cover of democratic formalities, or to bring in effectual democratic insubordination under cover of the
ancient dignities of an outworn monarchical system,—the characterisation may run either way

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according to the fancy of the speaker, and to much the same practical effect in either case,—instances
illustrative of this compromise monarchy at work today are to be had, as felicitously as anywhere, in the
Balkan states; perhaps the case of Greece will be especially instructive. At the other, and far, end of the line
will be found such other typical instances as the British, the Dutch, or, in pathetic and droll miniature, the

There is, of course, a wide interval between the grotesque effrontery that wears the Hellenic crown and the
undeviatingly decorous self-effacement of the Dutch sovereign; and yet there is something of a common
complexion runs through the whole range of establishments,[Pg 285] all the way from the quasi-dynastic to
the pseudo-dynastic. For reasons unavoidable and persistent, though not inscribed in the constituent law, the
governmental establishment associated with such a royal concern will be made up of persons drawn from the
kept classes, the nobility or lesser gentlefolk, and will be imbued with the spirit of these "better" classes rather
than that of the common run.

With what may be uncanny shrewdness, or perhaps mere tropismatic response to the unreasoned stimulus of a
"consciousness of kind," the British government—habitually a syndicate of gentlefolk—has
uniformly insisted on the installation of a constitutional monarchy at the formation of every new national
organisation in which that government has had a discretionary voice. And the many and various constitutional
governments so established, commonly under British auspices in some degree, have invariably run true to
form, in some appreciable degree. They may be quasi-dynastic or pseudo-dynastic, but at this nearest
approach to democracy they always, and unavoidably, include at least a circumlocution office of gentlefolk, in
the way of a ministry and court establishment, whose place in the economy of the nation's affairs it is to adapt
the run of these affairs to the needs of the kept classes.

There need be no imputation of sinister designs to these gentlefolk, who so are elected by force of
circumstances to guard and guide the nation's interests. As things go, it will doubtless commonly be found that
they are as well-intentioned as need be. But a well-meaning gentleman of good antecedents means well in a
gentlemanly way and in the light of good antecedents. Which comes unavoidably to an effectual bias in favor
of those interests[Pg 286] which honorable gentlemen of good antecedents have at heart. And among these
interests are the interests of the kept classes, as contrasted with that common run of the population from which
their keep is drawn.

Under the auspices, even if they are only the histrionic and decorative auspices, of so decorous an article of
institutional furniture as royalty, it follows of logical necessity that the personnel of the effectual government
must also be drawn from the better classes, whose place and station and high repute will make their
association with the First Gentleman of the Realm not too insufferably incongruous. And then, the popular
habit of looking up to this First Gentleman with that deference that royalty commands, also conduces
materially to the attendant habitual attitude of deference to gentility more at large.

Even in so democratic a country, and with so exanimate a crown as is to be found in the United Kingdom, the
royal establishment visibly, and doubtless very materially, conduces to the continued tenure of the effectual
government by representatives of the kept classes; and it therefore counts with large effect toward the
retardation of the country's further move in the direction of democratic insubordination and direct
participation in the direction of affairs by the underbred, who finally pay the cost. And on the other hand, even
so moderately royal an establishment as the Norwegian has apparently a sensible effect in the way of
gathering the reins somewhat into the hands of the better classes, under circumstances of such meagerness as
might be expected to preclude anything like a "better" class, in the conventional acceptation of that term. It
would appear that even the extreme of pseudo-dynastic royalty, sterilised to the last degree, is something of an
effectual hindrance to democratic rule,[Pg 287] and in so far also a hindrance to the further continued
neutralisation of nationalist pretensions, as also an effectual furtherance of upper-class rule for upper-class

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Now, a government by well-meaning gentlemen-investors will, at the nearest, come no nearer representing the
material needs and interests of the common run than a parable comes to representing the concrete facts which
it hopes to illuminate. And as bears immediately on the point in hand, these gentlemanly administrators of the
nation's affairs who so cluster about the throne, vacant though it may be of all but the bodily presence of
majesty, are after all gentlemen, with a gentlemanly sense of punctilio touching the large proprieties and
courtesies of political life. The national honor is a matter of punctilio, always; and out of the formal
exigencies of the national honor arise grievances to be redressed; and it is grievances of this character that
commonly afford the formal ground of a breach of the peace. An appeal on patriotic grounds of wounded
national pride, to the common run who have no trained sense of punctilio, by the gentlemanly responsible
class who have such a sense, backed by assurances that the national prestige or the national interests are at
stake, will commonly bring a suitable response. It is scarcely necessary that the common run should know just
what the stir is about, so long as they are informed by their trusted betters that there is a grievance to redress.
In effect, it results that the democratic nation's affairs are administered by a syndicate composed of the least
democratic class in the population.

Excepting what is to be excepted, it will commonly hold true today that these gentlemanly governments
are[Pg 288] conducted in a commendably clean and upright fashion, with a conscious rectitude and a
benevolent intention. But they are after all, in effect, class governments, and they unavoidably carry the bias
of their class. The gentlemanly officials and law-givers come, in the main, from the kept classes, whose living
comes to them in the way of income from investments, at home or in foreign parts, or from an equivalent
source of accumulated wealth or official emolument. The bias resulting from this state of the case need not be
of an intolerant character in order to bring its modicum of mischief into the national policy, as regards
amicable relations with other nationalities. A slight bias running on a ground of conscious right and unbroken
usage may go far. So, e.g., anyone of these gentlemanly governments is within its legitimate rights, or rather
within its imperative duty, in defending the foreign investments of its citizens and enforcing due payment of
its citizens' claims to income or principal of such property as they may hold in foreign parts; and it is within
its ordinary lines of duty in making use of the nation's resources—that is to say of the common man and
his means of livelihood—in enforcing such claims held by the investing classes. The community at
large has no interest in the enforcement of such claims; it is evidently a class interest, and as evidently
protected by a code of rights, duties and procedure that has grown out of a class bias, at the cost of the
community at large.

This bias favoring the interests of invested wealth may also, and indeed it commonly does, take the aggressive
form of aggressively forwarding enterprise in investment abroad, particularly in commercially backward
countries abroad, by extension of the national jurisdiction and the active countenancing of concessions in
foreign[Pg 289] parts, by subventions, or by creation of offices to bring suitable emoluments to the younger
sons of deserving families. The protective tariffs to which recourse is sometimes had, are of the same general
nature and purpose. Of course, it is in this latter, aggressive or excursive, issue of the well-to-do bias in favor
of investment and invested wealth that its most pernicious effect on international relations is traceable.

Free income, that is to say income not dependent on personal merit or exertion of any kind, is the breath of
life to the kept classes; and as a corollary of the "First Law of Nature," therefore, the invested wealth which
gives a legally equitable claim to such income has in their eyes all the sanctity that can be given by Natural
Right. Investment—often spoken of euphemistically as "savings"—is consequently a meritorious
act, conceived to be very serviceable to the community at large, and properly to be furthered by all available
means. Invested wealth is so much added to the aggregate means at the community's disposal, it is believed.
Of course, in point of fact, income from investment in the hands of these gentlefolk is a means of tracelessly
consuming that much of the community's yearly product; but to the kept classes, who see the matter from the
point of view of the recipient, the matter does not present itself in that light. To them it is the breath of life.
Like other honorable men they are faithful to their bread; and by authentic tradition the common man, in
whose disciplined preconceptions the kept classes are his indispensable betters, is also imbued with the

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uncritical faith that the invested wealth which enables these betters tracelessly to consume a due share of the
yearly product is an addition to the aggregate means in hand.[Pg 290]

The advancement of commercial and other business enterprise beyond the national frontiers is consequently
one of the duties not to be neglected, and with which no trifling can be tolerated. It is so bound up with
national ideals, under any gentlemanly government, that any invasion or evasion of the rights of investors in
foreign parts, or of other business involved in dealings with foreign parts, immediately involves not only the
material interest of the nation but the national honour as well. Hence international jealousies and eventual

The constitutional monarchy that commonly covers a modern democratic community is accordingly a menace
to the common peace, and any pacific league of neutrals will be laying up trouble and prospective defeat for
itself in allowing such an institution to stand over in any instance. Acting with a free hand, if such a thing
were possible, the projected league should logically eliminate all monarchical establishments, constitutional
or otherwise, from among its federated nations. It is doubtless not within reason to look for such a move in the
negotiations that are to initiate the projected league of neutrals; but the point is called to mind here chiefly as
indicating one of the difficult passages which are to be faced in any attempted formation of such a league, as
well as one of the abiding sources of international irritation with which the league's jurisdiction will be
burdened so long as a decisive measure of the kind is not taken.

The logic of the whole matter is simple enough, and the necessary measures to be taken to remedy it are no
less simple—barring sentimental objections which will probably prove insuperable. A monarchy, even
a sufficiently inane monarchy, carries the burden of a gentlemanly governmental establishment—a
government by and[Pg 291] for the kept classes; such a government will unavoidably direct the affairs of state
with a view to income on invested wealth, and will see the material interests of the country only in so far as
they present themselves under the form of investment and business enterprise designed to eventuate in
investment; these are the only forms of material interest that give rise to international jealousies,
discriminations and misunderstanding, at the same time that they are interests of individuals only and have no
material use or value to the community at large. Given a monarchical establishment and the concomitant
gentlemanly governmental corps, there is no avoiding this sinister prime mover of international rivalry, so
long as the rights of invested wealth continue in popular apprehension to be held inviolable.

Quite obviously there is a certain tu quoque ready to the hand of these "gentlemen of the old school" who see
in the constitutional monarchy a God-given shelter from the unreserved vulgarisation of life at the hands of
the unblest and unbalanced underbred and underfed. The formally democratic nations, that have not retained
even a pseudo-dynastic royalty, are not much more fortunately placed in respect of national discrimination in
trade and investment. The American republic will obviously come into the comparison as the type-form of
economic policy in a democratic commonwealth. There is little to choose between the economic policy
pursued by such republics as France or America on the one side and their nearest counterparts among the
constitutional monarchies on the other. It is even to be admitted out of hand that the comparison does no
credit to democratic institutions as seen at work in these republics. They are, in fact, somewhat the crudest and
most singularly foolish in their[Pg 292] economic policy of any peoples in Christendom. And in view of the
amazing facility with which these democratic commonwealths are always ready to delude themselves in
everything that touches their national trade policies, it is obvious that any league of neutrals whose fortunes
are in any degree contingent on their reasonable compliance with a call to neutralise their trade regulations for
the sake of peace, will have need of all the persuasive power it can bring to bear.

However, the powers of darkness have one less line of defense to shelter them and their work of malversation
in these commonwealths than in the constitutional monarchies. The American national establishment, e.g.,
which may be taken as a fairly characteristic type-form in this bearing, is a government of businessmen for
business ends; and there is no tabu of axiomatic gentility or of certified pedigree to hedge about this working

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syndicate of business interests. So that it is all nearer by one remove to the disintegrating touch of the
common man and his commonplace circumstances. The businesslike régime of these democratic politicians is
as undeviating in its advocacy and aid of enterprise in pursuit of private gain under shelter of national
discrimination as the circumstances will permit; and the circumstances will permit them to do much and go
far; for the limits of popular gullibility in all things that touch the admirable feats of business enterprise are
very wide in these countries. There is a sentimental popular belief running to the curious effect that because
the citizens of such a commonwealth are ungraded equals before the law, therefore somehow they can all and
several become wealthy by trading at the expense of their neighbours.[Pg 293]

Yet, the fact remains that there is only the one line of defense in these countries where the business interests
have not the countenance of a time-honored order of gentlefolk, with the sanction of royalty in the
background. And this fact is further enhanced by one of its immediate consequences. Proceeding upon the
abounding faith which these peoples have in business enterprise as a universal solvent, the unreserved venality
and greed of their businessmen—unhampered by the gentleman's noblesse oblige—have pushed
the conversion of public law to private gain farther and more openly here than elsewhere. The outcome has
been divers measures in restraint of trade or in furtherance of profitable abuses, of such a crass and flagrant
character that if once the popular apprehension is touched by matter-of-fact reflection on the actualities of this
businesslike policy the whole structure should reasonably be expected to crumble. If the present conjuncture
of circumstances should, e.g., present to the American populace a choice between exclusion from the neutral
league, and a consequent probable and dubious war of self-defense, on the one hand; as against entrance into
the league, and security at the cost of relinquishing their national tariff in restraint of trade, on the other hand,
it is always possible that the people might be brought to look their protective tariff in the face and recognise it
for a commonplace conspiracy in restraint of trade, and so decide to shuffle it out of the way as a good
riddance. And the rest of the Republic's businesslike policy of special favors would in such a case stand a
chance of going in the discard along with the protective tariff, since the rest is of substantially the same
disingenuous character.[Pg 294]

Not that anyone need entertain a confident expectation of such an exploit of common sense on the part of the
American voters. There is little encouragement for such a hope in their past career of gullibility on this head.
But this is again a point of difficulty to be faced in negotiations looking to such a pacific league of neutrals.
Without a somewhat comprehensive neutralisation of national trade regulations, the outlook for lasting peace
would be reduced by that much; there would be so much material for international jealousy and
misunderstanding left standing over and requiring continued readjustment and compromise, always with the
contingency of a breach that much nearer. The infatuation of the Americans with their protective tariff and
other businesslike discriminations is a sufficiently serious matter in this connection, and it is always possible
that their inability to give up this superstition might lead to their not adhering to this projected neutral league.
Yet it is at least to be said that the longer the time that passes before active measures are taken toward the
organisation of such a league—that is to say, in effect, the longer the great war lasts—the more
amenable is the temper of the Americans likely to be, and the more reluctantly would they see themselves
excluded. Should the war be protracted to some such length as appears to be promised by latterday
pronunciamentos from the belligerents, or to something passably approaching such a duration; and should the
Imperial designs and anomalous diplomacy of Japan continue to force themselves on the popular attention at
the present rate; at the same time that the operations in Europe continue to demonstrate the excessive cost of
defense against a well devised and resolute offensive; then it should reasonably be expected that the
Americans might come to[Pg 295] such a realisation of their own case as to let no minor considerations of
trade discrimination stand in the way of their making common cause with the other pacific nations.

It appears already to be realised in the most responsible quarter that America needs the succor of the other
pacific nations, with a need that is not to be put away or put off; as it is also coming to be realised that the
Imperial Powers are disturbers of the peace, by force of their Imperial character. Of course, the politicians
who seek their own advantage in the nation's embarrassment are commonly unable to see the matter in that

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light. But it is also apparent that the popular sentiment is affected with the same apprehension, more and more
as time passes and the aims and methods of the Imperial Powers become more patent.

Hitherto the spokesmen of a pacific federation of nations have spoken for a league of such an (indeterminate)
constitution as to leave all the federated nations undisturbed in all their conduct of their own affairs, domestic
or international; probably for want of second thought as to the complications of copartnership between them
in so grave and unwonted an enterprise. They have also spoken of America's share in the project as being that
of an interested outsider, whose interest in any precautionary measures of this kind is in part a regard for his
own tranquility as a disinterested neighbour, but in greater part a humane solicitude for the well-being of
civilised mankind at large. In this view, somewhat self-complacent it is to be admitted, America is conceived
to come into the case as initiator and guide, about whom the pacific nations are to cluster as some sort of

Now, there is not a little verisimilitude in this conception of America as a sort of central office and a tower[Pg
296] of strength in the projected federation of neutral nations, however pharisaical an appearance it may all
have in the self-complacent utterances of patriotic Americans. The American republic is, after all, the greatest
of the pacific nations of Christendom, in resources, population and industrial capacity; and it is also not to be
denied that the temper of this large population is, on the whole, as pacific as that of any considerable
people—outside of China. The adherence of the American republic would, in effect, double the mass
and powers of the projected league, and would so place it beyond all hazard of defeat from without, or even of
serious outside opposition to its aims.

Yet it will not hold true that America is either disinterested or indispensable. The unenviable position of the
indispensable belongs to the United Kingdom, and carries with it the customary suspicion of interested
motives that attaches to the stronger party in a bargain. To America, on the other hand, the league is
indispensable, as a refuge from otherwise inevitable dangers ahead; and it is only a question of a moderate
allowance of time for the American voters to realise that without an adequate copartnership with the other
pacific nations the outlook of the Republic is altogether precarious. Single-handed, America can not defend
itself, except at a prohibitive cost; whereas in copartnership with these others the national defense becomes a
virtually negligible matter. It is for America a choice between a policy of extravagant armament and
aggressive diplomacy, with a doubtful issue, on the one side, and such abatement of national pretensions as
would obviate bootless contention, on the other side.[Pg 297]

Yet, it must be admitted, the patriotic temper of the American people is of such a susceptible kind as to leave
the issue in doubt. Not that the Americans will not endeavor to initiate some form of compact for the keeping
of the peace, when hostilities are concluded; barring unforeseen contingencies, it is virtually a foregone
conclusion that the attempt will be made, and that the Americans will take an active part in its promotion. But
the doubt is as to their taking such a course as will lead to a compact of the kind needed to safeguard the peace
of the country. The business interests have much to say in the counsels of the Americans, and these business
interests look to short-term gains—American business interests particularly—to be derived from
the country's necessities. It is likely to appear that the business interests, through representatives in Congress
and elsewhere, will disapprove of any peace compact that does not involve an increase of the national
armament and a prospective demand for munitions and an increased expenditure of the national funds.

With or without the adherence of America, the pacific nations of Europe will doubtless endeavour to form a
league or alliance designed to keep the peace. If America does not come into the arrangement it may well
come to nothing much more than a further continued defensive alliance of the belligerent nations now
opposed to the German coalition. In any case it is still a point in doubt whether the league so projected is to be
merely a compact of defensive armament against a common enemy—in which case it will necessarily
be transient, perhaps ephemeral—or a more inclusive coalition of a closer character designed to avoid
any breach of the peace, by disarmament and by disallowance and disclaimer of such national pre[Pg

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298]tensions and punctilio as the patriotic sentiment of the contracting parties will consent to dispense with.
The nature of the resulting peace, therefore, as well as its chances of duration, will in great measure be
conditioned on the fashion of peace-compact on which it is to rest; which will be conditioned in good part on
the degree in which the warlike coalition under German Imperial control is effectually to be eliminated from
the situation as a prospective disturber of the peace; which, in turn, is a question somewhat closely bound up
with the further duration of the war, as has already been indicated in an earlier passage.[Pg 299]


Peace and the Price System

Evidently the conception of peace on which its various spokesmen are proceeding is by no means the same for
all of them. In the current German conception, e.g., as seen in the utterances of its many and urgent
spokesmen, peace appears to be of the general nature of a truce between nations, whose God-given destiny it
is, in time, to adjust a claim to precedence by wager of battle. They will sometimes speak of it,
euphemistically, with a view to conciliation, as "assurance of the national future," in which the national future
is taken to mean an opportunity for the extension of the national dominion at the expense of some other
national establishment. In the same connection one may recall the many eloquent passages on the State and its
paramount place and value in the human economy. The State is useful for disturbing the peace. This German
notion may confidently be set down as the lowest of the current conceptions of peace; or perhaps rather as the
notion of peace reduced to the lowest terms at which it continues to be recognisable as such. Next beyond in
that direction lies the notion of armistice; which differs from this conception of peace chiefly in connoting
specifically a definite and relatively short interval between warlike operations.

The conception of peace as being a period of preparation for war has many adherents outside the
Fatherland,[Pg 300] of course. Indeed, it has probably a wider vogue and a readier acceptance among men
who interest themselves in questions of peace and war than any other. It goes hand in hand with that militant
nationalism that is taken for granted, conventionally, as the common ground of those international relations
that play a part in diplomatic intercourse. It is the diplomatist's métier to talk war in parables of peace. This
conception of peace as a precarious interval of preparation has come down to the present out of the feudal age
and is, of course, best at home where the feudal range of preconceptions has suffered least dilapidation; and it
carries the feudalistic presumption that all national establishments are competitors for dominion, after the
scheme of Macchiavelli. The peace which is had on this footing, within the realm, is a peace of subjection,
more or less pronounced according as the given national establishment is more or less on the militant order; a
warlike organisation being necessarily of a servile character, in the same measure in which it is warlike.

In much the same measure and with much the same limitations as the modern democratic nations have
departed from the feudal system of civil relations and from the peculiar range of conceptions which
characterise that system, they have also come in for a new or revised conception of peace. Instead of its being
valued chiefly as a space of time in which to prepare for war, offensive or defensive, among these democratic
and provisionally pacific nations it has come to stand in the common estimation as the normal and stable
manner of life, good and commendable in its own right. These modern, pacific, commonwealths stand on the
defensive, habitually. They are still pugnaciously national, but they have unlearned so much of the feudal
preconceptions as to leave them in[Pg 301] a defensive attitude, under the watch-word: Peace with honour.
Their quasi-feudalistic national prestige is not to be trifled with, though it has lost so much of its fascination
as ordinarily not to serve the purposes of an aggressive enterprise, at least not without some shrewd
sophistication at the hands of militant politicians and their diplomatic agents. Of course, an exuberant
patriotism may now and again take on the ancient barbarian vehemence and lead such a provisionally pacific
nation into an aggressive raid against a helpless neighbour; but it remains characteristically true, after all, that
these peoples look on the country's peace as the normal and ordinary course of things, which each nation is to


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take care of for itself and by its own force.

The ideal of the nineteenth-century statesmen was to keep the peace by a balance of power; an unstable
equilibrium of rivalries, in which it was recognised that eternal vigilance was the price of peace by
equilibration. Since then, by force of the object-lesson of the twentieth-century wars, it has become evident
that eternal vigilance will no longer keep the peace by equilibration, and the balance of power has become
obsolete. At the same time things have so turned that an effective majority of the civilised nations now see
their advantage in peace, without further opportunity to seek further dominion. These nations have also been
falling into the shape of commonwealths, and so have lost something of their national spirit.

With much reluctant hesitation and many misgivings, the statesmen of these pacific nations are accordingly
busying themselves with schemes for keeping the peace on the unfamiliar footing of a stable equilibrium; the
method preferred on the whole being an equilibration of make-believe, in imitation of the obsolete balance of
power.[Pg 302] There is a meticulous regard for national jealousies and discriminations, which it is thought
necessary to keep intact. Of course, on any one of these slightly diversified plans of keeping the peace on a
stable footing of copartnery among the pacific nations, national jealousies and national integrity no longer
have any substantial meaning. But statesmen think and plan in terms of precedent; which comes to thinking
and planning in terms of make-believe, when altered circumstances have made the precedents obsolete. So
one comes to the singular proposal of the statesmen, that the peace is to be kept in concert among these pacific
nations by a provision of force with which to break it at will. The peace that is to be kept on this footing of
national discriminations and national armaments will necessarily be of a precarious kind; being, in effect, a
statesmanlike imitation of the peace as it was once kept even more precariously by the pacific nations in

Hitherto the movement toward peace has not gone beyond this conception of it, as a collusive safeguarding of
national discrepancies by force of arms. Such a peace is necessarily precarious, partly because armed force is
useful for breaking the peace, partly because the national discrepancies, by which these current peace-makers
set such store, are a constant source of embroilment. What the peace-makers might logically be expected to
concern themselves about would be the elimination of these discrepancies that make for embroilment. But
what they actually seem concerned about is their preservation. A peace by collusive neglect of those remnants
of feudalistic make-believe that still serve to divide the pacific nations has hitherto not seriously come under
advisement.[Pg 303]

Evidently, hitherto, and for the calculable future, peace is a relative matter, a matter of more or less,
whichever of the several working conceptions spoken of above may rule the case. Evidently, too, a peace
designed to strengthen the national establishment against eventual war, will count to a different effect from a
collusive peace of a defensive kind among the pacific peoples, designed by its projectors to conserve those
national discrepancies on which patriotic statesmen like to dwell. Different from both would be the value of a
peace by neglect of such useless national discriminations as now make for embroilment. A protracted season
of peace should logically have a somewhat different cultural value according to the character of the public
policy to be pursued under its cover. So that a safe and sane conservation of the received law and order should
presumably best be effected under cover of a collusive peace of the defensive kind, which is designed to retain
those national discrepancies intact that count for so much in the national life of today, both as a focus of
patriotic sentiment and as an outlet for national expenditures. This plan would involve the least derangement
of the received order among the democratic peoples, although the plan might itself undergo some change in
the course of time.

Among the singularities of the latterday situation, in this connection, and brought out by the experiences of
the great war, is a close resemblance between latterday warlike operations and the ordinary processes of
industry. Modern warfare and modern industry alike are carried on by technological processes subject to
surveillance and direction by mechanical engineers, or perhaps rather experts in engineering science of the


The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
mechanistic kind.[Pg 304] War is not now a matter of the stout heart and strong arm. Not that these attributes
do not have their place and value in modern warfare; but they are no longer the chief or decisive factors in the
case. The exploits that count in this warfare are technological exploits; exploits of technological science,
industrial appliances, and technological training. As has been remarked before, it is no longer a gentlemen's
war, and the gentleman, as such, is no better than a marplot in the game as it is played.

Certain consequences follow from this state of the case. Technology and industrial experience, in large
volume and at a high proficiency, are indispensable to the conduct of war on the modern plan, as well as a
large, efficient and up-to-date industrial community and industrial plant to supply the necessary material of
this warfare. At the same time the discipline of the campaign, as it impinges on the rank and file as well as on
the very numerous body of officers and technicians, is not at cross purposes with the ordinary industrial
employments of peace, or not in the same degree as has been the case in the past, even in the recent past. The
experience of the campaign does not greatly unfit the men who survive for industrial uses; nor does it come in
as a sheer interruption of their industrial training, or break the continuity of that range of habits of thought
which modern industry of the technological order induces; not in the same degree as was the case under the
conditions of war as carried on in the nineteenth century. The cultural, and particularly the technological,
incidence of this modern warfare should evidently be appreciably different from what has been experienced in
the past, and from what this past experience has induced students of these matters to look for among the
psychological effects of warlike experience.[Pg 305]

It remains true that the discipline of the campaign, however impersonal it may tend to become, still inculcates
personal subordination and unquestioning obedience; and yet the modern tactics and methods of fighting bear
somewhat more on the individual's initiative, discretion, sagacity and self-possession than once would have
been true. Doubtless the men who come out of this great war, the common men, will bring home an
accentuated and acrimonious patriotism, a venomous hatred of the enemies whom they have missed killing;
but it may reasonably be doubted if they come away with a correspondingly heightened admiration and
affection for their betters who have failed to make good as foremen in charge of this teamwork in killing. The
years of the war have been trying to the reputation of officials and officers, who have had to meet uncharted
exigencies with not much better chance of guessing the way through than their subalterns have had.

By and large, it is perhaps not to be doubted that the populace now under arms will return from the experience
of the war with some net gain in loyalty to the nation's honour and in allegiance to their masters; particularly
the German subjects,—the like is scarcely true for the British; but a doubt will present itself as to the
magnitude of this net gain in subordination, or this net loss in self-possession. A doubt may be permitted as to
whether the common man in the countries of the Imperial coalition, e.g., will, as the net outcome of this war
experience, be in a perceptibly more pliable frame of mind as touches his obligations toward his betters and
subservience to the irresponsible authority exercised by the various governmental agencies, than he was at the
outbreak of the war. At that time, there is reason to believe, there was an ominous, though scarcely
threatening, murmur of dis[Pg 306]content beginning to be heard among the working classes of the industrial
towns. It is fair to presume, however, that the servile discipline of the service and the vindictive patriotism
bred of the fight should combine to render the populace of the Fatherland more amenable to the irresponsible
rule of the Imperial dynasty and its subaltern royal establishments, in spite of any slight effect of a contrary
character exercised by the training in technological methods and in self-reliance, with which this discipline of
the service has been accompanied. As to the case of the British population, under arms or under compulsion of
necessity at home, something has already been said in an earlier passage; and much will apparently depend, in
their case, on the further duration of the war. The case of the other nationalities involved, both neutrals and
belligerents, is even more obscure in this bearing, but it is also of less immediate consequence for the present

The essentially feudal virtues of loyalty and bellicose patriotism would appear to have gained their great
ascendency over all men's spirit within the Western civilisation by force of the peculiarly consistent character


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of the discipline of life under feudal conditions, whether in war or peace; and to the same uniformity of these
forces that shaped the workday habits of thought among the feudal nations is apparently due that profound
institutionalisation of the preconceptions of patriotism and loyalty, by force of which these preconceptions
still hold the modern peoples in an unbreakable web of prejudice, after the conditions favoring their
acquirement have in great part ceased to operate. These preconceptions of national solidarity and international
enmity have come down from[Pg 307] the past as an integral part of the unwritten constitution underlying all
these modern nations, even those which have departed most widely from the manner of life to which the
peoples owe these ancient preconceptions. Hitherto, or rather until recent times, the workday experience of
these peoples has not seriously worked at cross purposes with the patriotic spirit and its bias of national
animosity; and what discrepancy there has effectively been between the discipline of workday life and the
received institutional preconceptions on this head, has hitherto been overborne by the unremitting inculcation
of these virtues by interested politicians, priests and publicists, who speak habitually for the received order of

That order of things which is known on its political and civil side as the feudal system, together with that era
of the dynastic States which succeeds the feudal age technically so called, was, on its industrial or
technological side, a system of trained man-power organised on a plan of subordination of man to man. On the
whole, the scheme and logic of that life, whether in its political (warlike) or its industrial doings, whether in
war or peace, runs on terms of personal capacity, proficiency and relations. The organisation of the forces
engaged and the constraining rules according to which this organisation worked, were of the nature of
personal relations, and the impersonal factors in the case were taken for granted. Politics and war were a field
for personal valor, force and cunning, in practical effect a field for personal force and fraud. Industry was a
field in which the routine of life, and its outcome, turned on "the skill, dexterity and judgment of the
individual workman," in the words of Adam Smith.[Pg 308]

The feudal age passed, being done to death by handicraft industry, commercial traffic, gunpowder, and the
state-making politicians. But the political States of the statemakers, the dynastic States as they may well be
called, continued the conduct of political life on the personal plane of rivalry and jealousy between dynasties
and between their States; and in spite of gunpowder and the new military engineering, warfare continued also
to be, in the main and characteristically, a field in which man-power and personal qualities decided the
outcome, by virtue of personal "skill, dexterity and judgment." Meantime industry and its technology by
insensible degrees underwent a change in the direction of impersonalisation, particularly in those countries in
which state-making and its warlike enterprise had ceased, or were ceasing, to be the chief interests and the
controlling preconception of the people.

The logic of the new, mechanical industry which has supplanted handicraft in these countries, is a mechanistic
logic, which proceeds in terms of matter-of-fact strains, masses, velocities, and the like, instead of the "skill,
dexterity and judgment" of personal agents. The new industry does not dispense with the personal agencies,
nor can it even be said to minimise the need of skill, dexterity and judgment in the personal agents employed,
but it does take them and their attributes for granted as in some sort a foregone premise to its main argument.
The logic of the handicraft system took the impersonal agencies for granted; the machine industry takes the
skill, dexterity and judgment of the workmen for granted. The processes of thought, and therefore the
consistent habitual discipline, of the former ran in terms of the personal agents engaged, and of the personal
relations of discretion, control and[Pg 309] subordination necessary to the work; whereas the mechanistic
logic of the modern technology, more and more consistently, runs in terms of the impersonal forces engaged,
and inculcates an habitual predilection for matter-of-fact statement, and an habitual preconception that the
findings of material science alone are conclusive.

In those nations that have made up the advance guard of Western civilisation in its movement out of
feudalism, the disintegrating effect of this matter-of-fact animus inculcated by the later state of the industrial
arts has apparently acted effectively, in some degree, to discredit those preconceptions of personal


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discrimination on which dynastic rule is founded. But in no case has the discipline of this mechanistic
technology yet wrought its perfect work or come to a definitive conclusion. Meantime war and politics have
on the whole continued on the ancient plane; it may perhaps be fair to say that politics has so continued
because warlike enterprise has continued still to be a matter of such personal forces as skill, dexterity and
judgment, valor and cunning, personal force and fraud. Latterly, gradually, but increasingly, the technology of
war, too, has been shifting to the mechanistic plane; until in the latest phases of it, somewhere about the turn
of the century, it is evident that the logic of warfare too has come to be the same mechanistic logic that makes
the modern state of the industrial arts.

What, if anything, is due by consequence to overtake the political strategy and the political preconceptions of
the new century, is a question that will obtrude itself, though with scant hope of finding a ready answer. It
may even seem a rash, as well as an ungraceful, undertaking to inquire into the possible manner and degree of
prospective decay to which the received political ideals and virtues[Pg 310] would appear to be exposed by
consequence of this derangement of the ancient discipline to which men have been subjected. So much,
however, would seem evident, that the received virtues and ideals of patriotic animosity and national jealousy
can best be guarded against untimely decay by resolutely holding to the formal observance of all outworn
punctilios of national integrity and discrimination, in spite of their increasing disserviceability,—as
would be done, e.g., or at least sought to be done, in the installation of a league of neutral nations to keep the
peace and at the same time to safeguard those "national interests" whose only use is to divide these nations
and keep them in a state of mutual envy and distrust.

Those peoples who are subject to the constraining governance of this modern state of the industrial arts, as all
modern peoples are in much the same measure in which they are "modern," are, therefore, exposed to a
workday discipline running at cross purposes with the received law and order as it takes effect in national
affairs; and to this is to be added that, with warlike enterprise also shifted to this same
mechanistic-technological ground, war can no longer be counted on so confidently as before to correct all the
consequent drift away from the ancient landmarks of dynastic, pseudo-dynastic, and national enterprise in

As has been noted above, modern warfare not only makes use of, and indeed depends on, the modern
industrial technology at every turn of the operations in the field, but it draws on the ordinary industrial
resources of the countries at war in a degree and with an urgency never equalled. No nation can hope to make
a stand in modern warfare, much less to make headway in warlike[Pg 311] enterprise, without the most
thoroughgoing exploitation of the modern industrial arts. Which signifies for the purpose in hand that any
Power that harbors an imperial ambition must take measures to let its underlying population acquire the ways
and means of the modern machine industry, without reservation; which in turn signifies that popular education
must be taken care of to such an extent as may be serviceable in this manner of industry and in the manner of
life which this industrial system necessarily imposes; which signifies, of course, that only the thoroughly
trained and thoroughly educated nations have a chance of holding their place as formidable Powers in this
latterday phase of civilisation. What is needed is the training and education that go to make proficiency in the
modern fashion of technology and in those material sciences that conduce to technological proficiency of this
modern order. It is a matter of course that in these premises any appreciable illiteracy is an intolerable
handicap. So is also any training which discourages habitual self-reliance and initiative, or which acts as a
check on skepticism; for the skeptical frame of mind is a necessary part of the intellectual equipment that
makes for advance, invention and understanding in the field of technological proficiency.

But these requirements, imperatively necessary as a condition of warlike success, are at cross purposes with
that unquestioning respect of persons and that spirit of abnegation that alone can hold a people to the political
institutions of the old order and make them a willing instrument in the hands of the dynastic statesmen. The
dynastic State is apparently caught in a dilemma. The necessary preparation for warlike enterprise on the
modern plan can apparently be counted on, in the long run, to disintegrate the[Pg 312] foundations of the


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dynastic State. But it is only in the long run that this effect can be counted on; and it is perhaps not securely to
be counted on even in a moderately long run of things as they have run hitherto, if due precautions are taken
by the interested statesmen,—as would seem to be indicated by the successful conservation of archaic
traits in the German peoples during the past half century under the archaising rule of the Hohenzollern. It is a
matter of habituation, which takes time, and which can at the same time be neutralised in some degree by

Still, when all is told, it will probably have to be conceded that, e.g., such a nation as Russia will fall under
this rule of inherent disability imposed by the necessary use of the modern industrial arts. Without a fairly full
and free command of these modern industrial methods on the part of the Russian people, together with the
virtual disappearance of illiteracy, and with the facile and far-reaching system of communication which it all
involves, the Russian Imperial establishment would not be a formidable power or a serious menace to the
pacific nations; and it is not easy to imagine how the Imperial establishment could retain its hold and its
character under the conditions indicated.

The case of Japan, taken by itself, rests on somewhat similar lines as these others. In time, and in this case the
time-allowance should presumably not be anything very large, the Japanese people are likely to get an
adequate command of the modern technology; which would, here as elsewhere, involve the virtual
disappearance of the present high illiteracy, and the loss, in some passable measure, of the current
superstitiously crass nationalism of that people. There are indications that something of[Pg 313] that kind, and
of quite disquieting dimensions, is already under way; though with no indication that any consequent
disintegrating habits of thought have yet invaded the sacred close of Japanese patriotic devotion.

Again, it is a question of time and habituation. With time and habituation the emperor may insensibly cease to
be of divine pedigree, and the syndicate of statesmen who are doing business under his signature may
consequently find their measures of Imperial expansion questioned by the people who pay the bills. But so
long as the Imperial syndicate enjoy their present immunity from outside obstruction, and can accordingly
carry on an uninterrupted campaign of cumulative predation in Korea, China and Manchuria, the patriotic
infatuation is less likely to fall off, and by so much the decay of Japanese loyalty will be retarded. Yet, even if
allowed anything that may seem at all probable in the way of a free hand for aggression against their hapless
neighbours, the skepticism and insubordination to personal rule that seems inseparable in the long run from
addiction to the modern industrial arts should be expected presently to overtake the Japanese spirit of loyal
servitude. And the opportunity of Imperial Japan lies in the interval. So also does the menace of Imperial
Japan as a presumptive disturber of the peace at large.

At the cost of some unavoidable tedium, the argument as regards these and similar instances may be
summarised. It appears, in the (possibly doubtful) light of the history of democratic institutions and of modern
technology hitherto, as also from the logical character of this technology and its underlying material sciences,
that consistent addiction to the peculiar habits of thought involved in its[Pg 314] carrying on will presently
induce a decay of those preconceptions in which dynastic government and national ambitions have their
ground. Continued addiction to this modern scheme of industrial life should in time eventuate in a decay of
militant nationalism, with a consequent lapse of warlike enterprise. At the same time, popular proficiency in
the modern industrial arts, with all that that implies in the way of intelligence and information, is
indispensable as a means to any successful warlike enterprise on the modern plan. The menace of warlike
aggression from such dynastic States, e.g., as Imperial Germany and Imperial Japan is due to their having
acquired a competent use of this modern technology, while they have not yet had time to lose that spirit of
dynastic loyalty which they have carried over from an archaic order of things, out of which they have emerged
at a very appreciably later period (last half of the nineteenth century) than those democratic peoples whose
peace they now menace. As has been said, they have taken over this modern state of the industrial arts without
having yet come in for the defects of its qualities. This modern technology, with its underlying material
sciences, is a novel factor in the history of human culture, in that addiction to its use conduces to the decay of


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militant patriotism, at the same time that its employment so greatly enhances the warlike efficiency of even a
pacific people, at need, that they can not be seriously molested by any other peoples, however valorous and
numerous, who have not a competent use of this technology. A peace at large among the civilised nations, by
loss of the militant temper through addiction to this manner of arts of peace, therefore, carries no risk of
interruption by an inroad of warlike barbarians,—always provided that those existing archaic peoples
who might pass[Pg 315] muster as barbarians are brought into line with the pacific nations on a footing of
peace and equality. The disparity in point of outlook as between the resulting peace at large by neglect of
bootless animosities, on the one hand, and those historic instances of a peaceable civilisation that have been
overwhelmed by warlike barbarian invasions, on the other hand, should be evident.

It is always possible, indeed it would scarcely be surprising to find, that the projected league of neutrals or of
nations bent on peace can not be brought to realisation at this juncture; perhaps not for a long time yet. But it
should at the same time seem reasonable to expect that the drift toward a peaceable settlement of national
discrepancies such as has been visible in history for some appreciable time past will, in the absence of
unforeseen hindrances, work out to some such effect in the course of further experience under modern
conditions. And whether the projected peace compact at its inception takes one form or another, provided it
succeeds in its main purpose, the long-term drift of things under its rule should logically set toward some
ulterior settlement of the general character of what has here been spoken of as a peace by neglect or by
neutralisation of discrepancies.

It should do so, in the absence of unforeseen contingencies; more particularly if there were no effectual factor
of dissension included in the fabric of institutions within the nation. But there should also, e.g., be no
difficulty in assenting to the forecast that when and if national peace and security are achieved and settled
beyond recall, the discrepancy in fact between those who own the country's wealth and those who do not is
presently due to come to an issue. Any attempt to forecast the form which this[Pg 316] issue is to take, or the
manner, incidents, adjuncts and sequelae of its determination, would be a bolder and a more ambiguous,
undertaking. Hitherto attempts to bring this question to an issue have run aground on the real or fancied
jeopardy to paramount national interests. How, if at all, this issue might affect national interests and
international relations, would obviously depend in the first instance on the state of the given national
establishment and the character of the international engagements entered into in the formation of this
projected pacific league. It is always conceivable that the transactions involving so ubiquitous an issue might
come to take on an international character and that they might touch the actual or fanciful interests of these
diverse nations with such divergent effect as to bring on a rupture of the common understanding between
them and of the peace-compact in which the common understanding is embodied.

In the beginning, that is to say in the beginnings out of which this modern era of the Western civilisation has
arisen, with its scheme of law and custom, there grew into the scheme of law and custom, by settled usage, a
right of ownership and of contract in disposal of ownership,—which may or may not have been a
salutary institutional arrangement on the whole, under the circumstances of the early days. With the later
growth of handicraft and the petty trade in Western Europe this right of ownership and contract came to be
insisted on, standardised under legal specifications, and secured against molestation by the governmental
interests; more particularly and scrupulously among those peoples that have taken the lead in working out that
system of free or popular institutions that marks the modern civilised nations. So it[Pg 317] has come to be
embodied in the common law of the modern world as an inviolable natural right. It has all the prescriptive
force of legally authenticated immemorial custom.

Under the system of handicraft and petty trade this right of property and free contract served the interest of the
common man, at least in much of its incidence, and acted in its degree to shelter industrious and economical
persons from hardship and indignity at the hands of their betters. There seems reason to believe, as is
commonly believed, that so long as that relatively direct and simple scheme of industry and trade lasted, the


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right of ownership and contract was a salutary custom, in its bearing on the fortunes of the common man. It
appears also, on the whole, to have been favorable to the fuller development of the handicraft technology, as
well as to its eventual outgrowth into the new line of technological expedients and contrivances that presently
gave rise to the machine industry and the large-scale business enterprise.

The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of property and contract as axiomatic
premises and ultimate terms of analysis; and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form as would fit
the circumstances of the handicraft industry and the petty trade, and such as can be extended to any other
economic situation by shrewd interpretation. These theories, as they run from Adam Smith down through the
nineteenth century and later, appear tenable, on the whole, when taken to apply to the economic situation of
that earlier time, in virtually all that they have to say on questions of wages, capital, savings, and the economy
and efficiency of management and production by the methods of private enterprise resting on these rights of
ownership and contract and[Pg 318] governed by the pursuit of private gain. It is when these standard theories
are sought to be applied to the later situation, which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft, that they
appear nugatory or meretricious. The "competitive system" which these standard theories assume as a
necessary condition of their own validity, and about which they are designed to form a defensive hedge,
would, under those earlier conditions of small-scale enterprise and personal contact, appear to have been both
a passably valid assumption as a premise and a passably expedient scheme of economic relations and traffic.
At that period of its life-history it can not be said consistently to have worked hardship to the common man;
rather the reverse. And the common man in that time appears to have had no misgivings about the excellence
of the scheme or of that article of Natural Rights that underlies it.

This complexion of things, as touches the effectual bearing of the institution of property and the ancient
customary rights of ownership, has changed substantially since the time of Adam Smith. The "competitive
system," which he looked to as the economic working-out of that "simple and obvious system of natural
liberty" that always engaged his best affections, has in great measure ceased to operate as a routine of natural
liberty, in fact; particularly in so far as touches the fortunes of the common man, the impecunious mass of the
people. De jure, of course, the competitive system and its inviolable rights of ownership are a citadel of
Natural Liberty; but de facto the common man is now, and has for some time been, feeling the pinch of it. It is
law, and doubtless it is good law, grounded in immemorial usage and authenticated with statute and
precedent. But circumstances have so chang[Pg 319]ed that this good old plan has in a degree become archaic,
perhaps unprofitable, or even mischievous, on the whole, and especially as touches the conditions of life for
the common man. At least, so the common man in these modern democratic and commercial countries is
beginning to apprehend the matter.

Some slight and summary characterisation of these changing circumstances that have affected the incidence of
the rights of property during modern times may, therefore, not be out of place; with a view to seeing how far
and why these rights may be due to come under advisement and possible revision, in case a state of settled
peace should leave men's attention free to turn to these internal, as contrasted with national interests.

Under that order of handicraft and petty trade that led to the standardisation of these rights of ownership in the
accentuated form which belongs to them in modern law and custom, the common man had a practicable
chance of free initiative and self-direction in his choice and pursuit of an occupation and a livelihood, in so far
as rights of ownership bore on his case. At that period the workman was the main factor in industry and, in the
main and characteristically, the question of his employment was a question of what he would do. The material
equipment of industry—the "plant," as it has come to be called—was subject of ownership, then
as now; but it was then a secondary factor and, notoriously, subsidiary to the immaterial equipment of skill,
dexterity and judgment embodied in the person of the craftsman. The body of information, or general
knowledge, requisite to a workmanlike proficiency as handicraftsman was sufficiently slight and simple to fall
within the ordinary reach of the working class, without special schooling; and the material[Pg 320] equipment
necessary to the work, in the way of tools and appliances, was also slight enough, ordinarily, to bring it within


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the reach of the common man. The stress fell on the acquirement of that special personal skill, dexterity and
judgment that would constitute the workman a master of his craft. Given a reasonable measure of pertinacity,
the common man would be able to compass the material equipment needful to the pursuit of his craft, and so
could make his way to a livelihood; and the inviolable right of ownership would then serve to secure him the
product of his own industry, in provision for his own old-age and for a fair start in behalf of his children. At
least in the popular conception, and presumably in some degree also in fact, the right of property so served as
a guarantee of personal liberty and a basis of equality. And so its apologists still look on the institution.

In a very appreciable degree this complexion of things and of popular conceptions has changed since then;
although, as would be expected, the change in popular conceptions has not kept pace with the changing
circumstances. In all the characteristic and controlling lines of industry the modern machine technology calls
for a very considerable material equipment; so large an equipment, indeed, that this plant, as it is called,
always represents a formidable amount of invested wealth; and also so large that it will, typically, employ a
considerable number of workmen per unit of plant. On the transition to the machine technology the plant
became the unit of operation, instead of the workman, as had previously been the case; and with the further
development of this modern technology, during the past hundred and fifty years or so, the unit of operation
and control has increasingly come to be not the individual or isolated plant but rather an articulated group [Pg
321] of such plants working together as a balanced system and keeping pace in common, under a collective
business management; and coincidently the individual workman has been falling into the position of an
auxiliary factor, nearly into that of an article of supply, to be charged up as an item of operating expenses.
Under this later and current system, discretion and initiative vest not in the workman but in the owners of the
plant, if anywhere. So that at this point the right of ownership has ceased to be, in fact, a guarantee of personal
liberty to the common man, and has come to be, or is coming to be, a guarantee of dependence. All of which
engenders a feeling of unrest and insecurity, such as to instill a doubt in the mind of the common man as to
the continued expediency of this arrangement and of the prescriptive rights of property on which the
arrangement rests.

There is also an insidious suggestion, carrying a sinister note of discredit, that comes in from ethnological
science at this point; which is adapted still further to derange the common man's faith in this received
institution of ownership and its control of the material equipment of industry. To students interested in human
culture it is a matter of course that this material equipment is a means of utilising the state of the industrial
arts; that it is useful in industry and profitable to its owners only because and in so far as it is a creation of the
current technological knowledge and enables its owner to appropriate the usufruct of the current industrial
arts. It is likewise a matter of course that this technological knowledge, that so enables the material equipment
to serve the purposes of production and of private gain, is a free gift of the community at large to the owners
of industrial plant;[Pg 322] and, under latterday conditions, to them exclusively. The state of the industrial arts
is a joint heritage of the community at large, but where, as in the modern countries, the work to be done by
this technology requires a large material equipment, the usufruct of this joint heritage passes, in effect, into the
hands of the owners of this large material equipment.

These owners have, ordinarily, contributed nothing to the technology, the state of the industrial arts, from
which their control of the material equipment of industry enables them to derive a gain. Indeed, no class or
condition of men in the modern community—with the possible exception of politicians and the
clergy—can conceivably contribute less to the community's store of technological knowledge than the
large owners of invested wealth. By one of those singular inversions due to production being managed for
private gain, it happens that these investors are not only not given to the increase and diffusion of
technological knowledge, but they have a well-advised interest in retarding or defeating improvements in the
industrial arts in detail. Improvements, innovations that heighten productive efficiency in the general line of
production in which a given investment is placed, are commonly to be counted on to bring "obsolescence by
supersession" to the plant already engaged in that line; and therefore to bring a decline in its income-yielding
capacity, and so in its capital or investment value.


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Invested capital yields income because it enjoys the usufruct of the community's technological knowledge; it
has an effectual monopoly of this usufruct because this machine technology requires large material appliances
with which to do its work; the interest of the owners of established industrial plant will not tolerate
innovations de[Pg 323]signed to supersede these appliances. The bearing of ownership on industry and on the
fortunes of the common man is accordingly, in the main, the bearing which it has by virtue of its monopoly
control of the industrial arts, and its consequent control of the conditions of employment and of the supply of
vendible products. It takes effect chiefly by inhibition and privation; stoppage of production in case it brings
no suitable profit to the investor, refusal of employment and of a livelihood to the workmen in case their
product does not command a profitable price in the market.

The expediency of so having the nation's industry managed on a footing of private ownership in the pursuit of
private gain, by persons who can show no equitable personal claim to even the most modest livelihood, and
whose habitual method of controlling industry is sabotage—refusal to let production go on except it
affords them an unearned income—the expediency of all this is coming to be doubted by those who
have to pay the cost of it. And it does not go far to lessen their doubts to find that the cost which they pay is
commonly turned to no more urgent or useful purpose than a conspicuously wasteful consumption of
superfluities by the captains of sabotage and their domestic establishments.

This may not seem a veracious and adequate account of these matters; it may, in effect, fall short of the
formulation: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; nor does the question here turn on its
adequacy as a statement of fact. Without prejudice to the question of its veracity and adequacy, it is believed
to be such an account of these matters as will increasingly come easy and seem convincing to the common
man who, in an ever increasing degree, finds himself pinched with privation and[Pg 324] insecurity by a run
of facts which will consistently bear this construction, and who perforce sees these facts from the prejudiced
standpoint of a loser. To such a one, there is reason to believe, the view so outlined will seem all the more
convincing the more attentively the pertinent facts and their bearing on his fortunes are considered. How far
the contrary prejudice of those whose interest or training inclines them the other way may lead them to a
different construction of these pertinent facts, does not concern the present argument; which has to do with
this run of facts only as they bear on the prospective frame of mind of that unblest mass of the population who
will have opportunity to present their proposals when peace at large shall have put national interests out of
their preferential place in men's regard.

At the risk of what may seem an excessively wide digression, there is something further to be said of the
capitalistic sabotage spoken of above. The word has by usage come to have an altogether ungraceful air of
disapproval. Yet it signifies nothing more vicious than a deliberate obstruction or retardation of industry,
usually by legitimate means, for the sake of some personal or partisan advantage. This morally colorless
meaning is all that is intended in its use here. It is extremely common in all industry that is designed to supply
merchantable goods for the market. It is, in fact, the most ordinary and ubiquitous of all expedients in business
enterprise that has to do with supplying the market, being always present in the businessman's necessary
calculations; being not only a usual and convenient recourse but quite indispensable as an habitual measure of
business sagacity. So that no personal blame can attach to its employment by any given businessman or
business concern. It is only when measures[Pg 325] of this nature are resorted to by employees, to gain some
end of their own, that such conduct becomes (technically) reprehensible.

Any businesslike management of industry is carried on for gain, which is to be got only on condition of
meeting the terms of the market. The price system under which industrial business is carried on will not
tolerate production in excess of the market demand, or without due regard to the expenses of production as
determined by the market on the side of the supplies required. Hence any business concern must adjust its
operations, by due acceleration, retardation or stoppage, to the market conditions, with a view to what the
traffic will bear; that is to say, with a view to what will yield the largest obtainable net gain. So long as the
price system rules, that is to say so long as industry is managed on investment for a profit, there is no escaping


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this necessity of adjusting the processes of industry to the requirements of a remunerative price; and this
adjustment can be taken care of only by well-advised acceleration or curtailment of the processes of industry;
which answers to the definition of sabotage. Wise business management, and more particularly what is spoken
of as safe and sane business management, therefore, reduces itself in the main to a sagacious use of sabotage;
that is to say a sagacious limitation of productive processes to something less than the productive capacity of
the means in hand.

To anyone who is inclined to see these matters of usage in the light of their history and to appraise them as
phenomena of habituation, adaptation and supersession in the sequence of cultural proliferation, there should
be no difficulty in appreciating that this institution of ownership[Pg 326] that makes the core of the modern
institutional structure is a precipitate of custom, like any other item of use and wont; and that, like any other
article of institutional furniture, it is subject to the contingencies of supersession and obsolescence. If
prevalent habits of thought, enforced by the prevalent exigencies of life and livelihood, come to change in
such a way as to make life under the rule imposed by this institution seem irksome, or intolerable, to the mass
of the population; and if at the same time things turn in such a way as to leave no other and more urgent
interest or exigency to take precedence of this one and hinder its being pushed to an issue; then it should
reasonably follow that contention is due to arise between the unblest mass on whose life it is a burden and the
classes who live by it. But it is, of course, impossible to state beforehand what will be the precise line of
cleavage or what form the division between the two parties in interest will take. Yet it is contained in the
premises that, barring unforeseen contingencies of a formidable magnitude, such a cleavage is due to follow
as a logical sequel of an enduring peace at large. And it is also well within the possibilities of the case that this
issue may work into an interruption or disruption of the peace between the nations.

In this connection it may be called to mind that the existing governmental establishments in these pacific
nations are, in all cases, in the hands of the beneficiary, or kept classes,—beneficiaries in the sense in
which a distinction to that effect comes into the premises of the case at this point. The responsible officials
and their chief administrative officers,—so much as may at all reasonably be called the "Government"
or the "Administration,"—are quite invariably and characteristically drawn from these[Pg 327]
beneficiary classes; nobles, gentlemen, or business men, which all comes to the same thing for the purpose in
hand; the point of it all being that the common man does not come within these precincts and does not share in
these counsels that assume to guide the destiny of the nations.

Of course, sporadically and ephemerally, a man out of the impecunious and undistinguished mass may now
and again find his way within the gates; and more frequently will a professed "Man of the People" sit in
council. But that the rule holds unbroken and inviolable is sufficiently evident in the fact that no community
will let the emoluments of office for any of its responsible officials, even for those of a very scant
responsibility, fall to the level of the habitual livelihood of the undistinguished populace, or indeed to fall
below what is esteemed to be a seemly income for a gentleman. Should such an impecunious one be thrown
up into a place of discretion in the government, he will forthwith cease to be a common man and will be
inducted into the rank of gentleman,—so far as that feat can be achieved by taking thought or by
assigning him an income adequate to a reputably expensive manner of life. So obvious is the antagonism
between a vulgar station in life and a position of official trust, that many a "selfmade man" has advisedly
taken recourse to governmental position, often at some appreciable cost, from no apparent motive other than
its known efficacy as a Levitical corrective for a humble origin. And in point of fact, neither here nor there
have the underbred majority hitherto learned to trust one of their own kind with governmental discretion;
which has never yet, in the popular conviction, ceased to be a perquisite of the gently-bred and the
well-to-do.[Pg 328]

Let it be presumed that this state of things will continue without substantial alteration, so far as regards the
complexion of the governmental establishments of these pacific nations, and with such allowance for
overstatement in the above characterisation as may seem called for. These governmental establishments are,


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by official position and by the character of their personnel, committed more or less consistently to the
maintenance of the existing law and order. And should no substantial change overtake them as an effect of the
war experience, the pacific league under discussion would be entered into by and between governments of this
complexion. Should difficulties then arise between those who own and those who do not, in any one of these
countries, it would become a nice question whether the compact to maintain the peace and national integrity
of the several nations comprised in the league should be held to cover the case of internal dissensions and
possible disorders partaking of the character of revolt against the established authorities or against the
established provisions of law. A strike of the scope and character of the one recently threatened, and narrowly
averted, on the American railroads, e.g., might easily give rise to disturbances sufficiently formidable to raise
a question of the peace league's jurisdiction; particularly if such a disturbance should arise in a less orderly
and less isolated country than the American republic; so as unavoidably to carry the effects of the disturbance
across the national frontiers along the lines of industrial and commercial intercourse and correlation. It is
always conceivable that a national government standing on a somewhat conservative maintenance of the
received law and order might feel itself bound by its conception of the peace to make common cause with the
keepers of estab[Pg 329]lished rights in neighboring states, particularly if the similar interests of their own
nation were thought to be placed in jeopardy by the course of events.

Antecedently it seems highly probable that the received rights of ownership and disposal of property,
particularly of investment, will come up for advisement and revision so soon as a settled state of peace is
achieved. And there should seem to be little doubt but this revision would go toward, or at least aim at the
curtailment or abrogation of these rights; very much after the fashion in which the analogous vested rights of
feudalism and the dynastic monarchy have been revised and in great part curtailed or abrogated in the
advanced democratic countries. Not much can confidently be said as to the details of such a prospective
revision of legal rights, but the analogy of that procedure by which these other vested rights have been
reduced to a manageable disability, suggests that the method in the present case also would be by way of
curtailment, abrogation and elimination. Here again, as in analogous movements of disuse and
disestablishment, there would doubtless be much conservative apprehension as to the procuring of a
competent substitute for the supplanted methods of doing what is no longer desirable to be done; but here as
elsewhere, in a like conjuncture, the practicable way out would presumably be found to lie along the line of
simple disuse and disallowance of class prerogative. Taken at its face value, without unavoidable prejudice
out of the past, this question of a substitute to replace the current exploitation of the industrial arts for private
gain by capitalistic sabotage is not altogether above a suspicion of drollery.

Yet it is not to be overlooked that private enterprise on the basis of private ownership is the familiar and ac[Pg
330]cepted method of conducting industrial affairs, and that it has the sanction of immemorial usage, in the
eyes of the common man, and that it is reenforced with the urgency of life and death in the apprehension of
the kept classes. It should accordingly be a possible outcome of such a peace as would put away international
dissension, that the division of classes would come on in a new form, between those who stand on their
ancient rights of exploitation and mastery, and those who are unwilling longer to submit. And it is quite
within the possibilities of the case that the division of opinion on these matters might presently shift back to
the old familiar ground of international hostilities; undertaken partly to put down civil disturbances in given
countries, partly by the more archaic, or conservative, peoples to safeguard the institutions of the received law
and order against inroads from the side of the iconoclastic ones.

In the apprehension of those who are speaking for peace between the nations and planning for its realisation,
the outlook is that of a return to, or a continuance of, the state of things before the great war came on, with
peace and national security added, or with the danger of war eliminated. Nothing appreciable in the way of
consequent innovation, certainly nothing of a serious character, is contemplated as being among the necessary
consequences of such a move into peace and security. National integrity and autonomy are to be preserved on
the received lines, and international division and discrimination is to be managed as before, and with the
accustomed incidents of punctilio and pecuniary equilibration. Internationally speaking, there is to dawn an


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era of diplomacy without afterthought, whatever that might conceivably mean.[Pg 331]

There is much in the present situation that speaks for such an arrangement, particularly as an initial phase of
the perpetual peace that is aimed at, whatever excursive variations might befall presently, in the course of
years. The war experience in the belligerent countries and the alarm that has disturbed the neutral nations have
visibly raised the pitch of patriotic solidarity in all these countries; and patriotism greatly favors the
conservation of established use and wont; more particularly is it favorable to the established powers and
policies of the national government. The patriotic spirit is not a spirit of innovation. The chances of survival,
and indeed of stabilisation, for the accepted use and wont and for the traditional distinctions of class and
prescriptive rights, should therefore seem favorable, at any rate in the first instance.

Presuming, therefore, as the spokesmen of such a peace-compact are singularly ready to presume, that the era
of peace and good-will which they have in view is to be of a piece with the most tranquil decades of the recent
past, only more of the same kind, it becomes a question of immediate interest to the common man, as well as
to all students of human culture, how the common man is to fare under this régime of law and
order,—the mass of the population whose place it is to do what is to be done, and thereby to carry
forward the civilisation of these pacific nations. It may not be out of place to recall, by way of parenthesis,
that it is here taken for granted as a matter of course that all governmental establishments are necessarily
conservative in all their dealings with this heritage of culture, except so far as they may be reactionary. Their
office is the stabilisation of archaic institutions, the measure of archaism varying from one to another.[Pg 332]

With due stabilisation and with a sagacious administration of the established scheme of law and order, the
common man should find himself working under conditions and to results of the familiar kind; but with the
difference that, while legal usage and legal precedent remain unchanged, the state of the industrial arts can
confidently be expected to continue its advance in the same general direction as before, while the population
increases after the familiar fashion, and the investing business community pursues its accustomed quest of
competitive gain and competitive spending in the familiar spirit and with cumulatively augmented means.
Stabilisation of the received law and order will not touch these matters; and for the present it is assumed that
these matters will not derange the received law and order. The assumption may seem a violent one to the
students of human culture, but it is a simple matter of course to the statesmen.

To this piping time of peace the nearest analogues in history would seem to be the Roman peace, say, of the
days of the Antonines, and passably the British peace of the Victorian era. Changes in the scheme of law and
order supervened in both of these instances, but the changes were, after all, neither unconscionably large nor
were they of a subversive nature. The scheme of law and order, indeed, appears in neither instance to have
changed so far as the altered circumstances would seem to have called for. To the common man the Roman
peace appears to have been a peace by submission, not widely different from what the case of China has
latterly brought to the appreciation of students. The Victorian peace, which can be appreciated more in detail,
was of a more genial character, as regards the fortunes of the common man. It started from a reasonably low
level of hardship[Pg 333] and de facto iniquity, and was occupied with many prudent endeavours to improve
the lot of the unblest majority; but it is to be admitted that these prudent endeavours never caught up with the
march of circumstances. Not that these prudent measures of amelioration were nugatory, but it is clear that
they were not an altogether effectual corrective of the changes going on; they were, in effect, systematically
so far in arrears as always to leave an uncovered margin of discontent with current conditions. It is a fact of
history that very appreciable sections of the populace were approaching an attitude of revolt against what they
considered to be intolerable conditions when that era closed. Much of what kept them within bounds, that is to
say within legal bounds, was their continued loyalty to the nation; which was greatly, and for the purpose
needfully, reenforced by a lively fear of warlike aggression from without. Now, under the projected pax orbis
terrarum all fear of invasion, it is hopefully believed, will be removed; and with the disappearance of this fear
should also disappear the drag of national loyalty on the counsels of the underbred.


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If this British peace of the nineteenth century is to be taken as a significant indication of what may be looked
for under a régime of peace at large, with due allowance for what is obviously necessary to be allowed for,
then what is held in promise would appear to be an era of unexampled commercial prosperity, of investment
and business enterprise on a scale hitherto not experienced. These developments will bring their necessary
consequences affecting the life of the community, and some of the consequences it should be possible to
foresee. The circumstances conditioning this prospective era of peace and prosperity will necessarily differ
from the corresponding[Pg 334] circumstances that conditioned the Victorian peace, and many of these points
of difference it is also possible to forecast in outline with a fair degree of confidence. It is in the main these
economic factors going to condition the civilisation of the promised future that will have to be depended on to
give the cue to any student interested in the prospective unfolding of events.

The scheme of law and order governing all modern nations, both in the conduct of their domestic affairs and
in their national policies, is in its controlling elements the scheme worked out through British (and French)
experience in the eighteenth century and earlier, as revised and further accommodated in the nineteenth
century. Other peoples, particularly the Dutch, have of course had their part in the derivation and development
of this modern scheme of institutional principles, but it has after all been a minor part; so that the scheme at
large would not differ very materially, if indeed it should differ sensibly, from what it is, even if the
contribution of these others had not been had. The backward nations, as e.g., Germany, Russia, Spain, etc.,
have of course contributed substantially nothing but retardation and maladjustment to this modern scheme of
civil life; whatever may be due to students resident in those countries, in the way of scholarly formulation.
This nineteenth century scheme it is proposed to carry over into the new era; and the responsible spokesmen
of the projected new order appear to contemplate no provision touching this scheme of law and order, beyond
the keeping of it intact in all substantial respects.

When and in so far as the projected peace at large takes effect, international interests will necessarily fall
somewhat into the background, as being no longer a matter of[Pg 335] precarious equilibration, with heavy
penalties in the balance; and diplomacy will consequently become even more of a make-believe than
today—something after the fashion of a game of bluff played with irredeemable "chips." Commercial,
that is to say business, enterprise will consequently come in for a more undivided attention and be carried on
under conditions of greater security and of more comprehensive trade relations. The population of the pacified
world may be expected to go on increasing somewhat as in the recent past; in which connection it is to be
remarked that not more than one-half, presumably something less than one-half, of the available agricultural
resources have been turned to account for the civilised world hitherto. The state of the industrial arts,
including means of transport and communication, may be expected to develop farther in the same general
direction as before, assuming always that peace conditions continue to hold. Popular intelligence, as it is
called,—more properly popular education,—may be expected to suffer a further advance;
necessarily so, since it is a necessary condition of any effectual advance in the industrial arts,—every
appreciable technological advance presumes, as a requisite to its working-out in industry, an augmented state
of information and of logical facility in the workmen under whose hands it is to take effect.

Of the prescriptive rights carried over into the new era, under the received law and order, the rights of
ownership alone may be expected to have any material significance for the routine of workday life; the other
personal rights that once seemed urgent will for everyday purposes have passed into a state of half-forgotten
matter-of-course. As now, but in an accentuated degree, the rights of ownership will, in effect, coincide and
coalesce with the[Pg 336] rights of investment and business management. The market—that is to say
the rule of the price-system in all matters of production and livelihood—may be expected to gain in
volume and inclusiveness; so that virtually all matters of industry and livelihood will turn on questions of
market price, even beyond the degree in which that proposition holds today. The progressive extension and
consolidation of investments, corporate solidarity, and business management may be expected to go forward
on the accustomed lines, as illustrated by the course of things during the past few decades. Market conditions
should accordingly, in a progressively increased degree, fall under the legitimate discretionary control of


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businessmen, or syndicates of businessmen, who have the disposal of large blocks of invested
wealth,—"big business," as it is called, should reasonably be expected to grow bigger and to exercise
an increasingly more unhampered control of market conditions, including the money market and the labor

With such improvements in the industrial arts as may fairly be expected to come forward, and with the
possible enhancement of industrial efficiency which should follow from a larger scale of organisation, a wider
reach of transport and communication, and an increased population,—with these increasing advantages
on the side of productive industry, the per-capita product as well as the total product should be increased in a
notable degree, and the conditions of life should possibly become notably easier and more attractive, or at
least more conducive to efficiency and personal comfort, for all concerned. Such would be the first and
unguarded inference to be drawn from the premises of the case as they offer themselves in the large; and
something of that kind is apparently what[Pg 337] floats before the prophetic vision of the advocates of a
league of nations for the maintenance of peace at large. These premises, and the inferences so drawn from
them, may be further fortified and amplified in the same sense on considering that certain very material
economies also become practicable, and should take effect "in the absence of disturbing causes," on the
establishment of such a peace at large. It will of course occur to all thoughtful persons that armaments must be
reduced, perhaps to a minimum, and that the cost of these things, in point of expenditures as well as of
man-power spent in the service, would consequently fall off in a corresponding measure. So also, as slight
further reflection will show, would the cost of the civil service presumably fall off very appreciably; more
particularly the cost of this service per unit of service rendered. Some such climax of felicities might be
looked for by hopeful persons, in the absence of disturbing causes.

Under the new dispensation the standard of living, that is to say the standard of expenditure, would reasonably
be expected to advance in a very appreciable degree, at least among the wealthy and well-to-do; and by
pressure of imitative necessity a like effect would doubtless also be had among the undistinguished mass. It is
not a question of the standard of living considered as a matter of the subsistence minimum, or even a standard
of habitually prevalent creature comfort, particularly not among the wealthy and well-to-do. These latter
classes have long since left all question of material comfort behind in their accepted standards of living and in
the continued advance of these standards. For these classes who are often spoken of euphemistically as being
"in easy circumstances," it is altogether a question of a standard of re[Pg 338]putable expenditure, to be
observed on pain of lost self-respect and of lost reputation at large. As has been remarked in an earlier
passage, wants of this kind are indefinitely extensible. So that some doubt may well be entertained as to
whether the higher productive efficiency spoken of will necessarily make the way of life easier, in view of this
need of a higher standard of expenditure, even when due account is taken of the many economies which the
new dispensation is expected to make practicable.

One of the effects to be looked for would apparently be an increased pressure on the part of aspiring men to
get into some line of business enterprise; since it is only in business, as contrasted with the industrial
occupations, that anyone can hope to find the relatively large income required for such an expensive manner
of life as will bring any degree of content to aspirants for pecuniary good repute. So it should follow that the
number of businessmen and business concerns would increase up to the limit of what the traffic could support,
and that the competition between these rival, and in a sense over-numerous, concerns would push the costs of
competition to the like limit. In this respect the situation would be of much the same character as what it now
is, with the difference that the limit of competitive expenditures would be rather higher than at present, to
answer to the greater available margin of product that could be devoted to this use; and that the competing
concerns would be somewhat more numerous, or at least that the aggregate expenditure on competitive
enterprise would be somewhat larger; as, e.g., costs of advertising, salesmanship, strategic litigation,
procuration of legislative and municipal grants and connivance, and the like.[Pg 339]


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It is always conceivable, though it may scarcely seem probable, that these incidents of increased pressure of
competition in business traffic might eventually take up all the slack, and leave no net margin of product over
what is available under the less favorable conditions of industry that prevail today; more particularly when
this increased competition for business gains is backed by an increased pressure of competitive spending for
purposes of a reputable appearance. All this applies in retail trade and in such lines of industry and public
service as partakes of the nature of retail trade, in the respect that salesmanship and the costs of salesmanship
enter into their case in an appreciable measure; this is an extensive field, it is true, and incontinently growing
more extensive with the later changes in the customary methods of marketing products; but it is by no means
anything like the whole domain of industrial business, and by no means a field in which business is carried on
without interference of a higher control from outside its own immediate limits.

All this generously large and highly expensive and profitable field of trade and of trade-like industry, in which
the businessmen in charge deal somewhat directly with a large body of customers, is always subject to
limitations imposed by the condition of the market; and the condition of the market is in part not under the
control of these businessmen, but is also in part controlled by large concerns in the background; which in their
turn are after all also not precisely free agents; in fact not much more so than their cousins in the retail trade,
being confined in all their motions by the constraint of the price-system that dominates the whole and gathers
them all in its impersonal and inexorable net.[Pg 340]

There is a colloquial saying among businessmen, that they are not doing business for their health; which being
interpreted means that they are doing business for a price. It is out of a discrepancy in price, between purchase
and sale, or between transactions which come to the same result as purchase and sale, that the gains of
business are drawn; and it is in terms of price that these gains are rated, amassed and funded. It is necessary,
for a business concern to achieve a favorable balance in terms of price; and the larger the balance in terms of
price the more successful the enterprise. Such a balance can not be achieved except by due regard to the
conditions of the market, to the effect that dealings must not go on beyond what will yield a favorable balance
in terms of price between income and outgo. As has already been remarked above, the prescriptive and
indispensable recourse in all this conduct of business is sabotage, limitation of supply to bring a remunerative
price result.

The new dispensation offers two new factors bearing on this businesslike need of a sagacious sabotage, or
rather it brings a change of coefficients in two factors already familiar in business management: a greater
need, for gainful business, of resorting to such limitation of traffic; and a greater facility of ways and means
for enforcing the needed restriction. So, it is confidently to be expected that in the prospective piping time of
peace the advance in the industrial arts will continue at an accelerated rate; which may confidently be
expected to affect the practicable increased production of merchantable goods; from which it follows that it
will act to depress the prices of these goods; from which it follows that if a profitable business is to be done in
the conduct[Pg 341] of productive industry a greater degree of continence than before will have to be
exercised in order not to let prices fall to an unprofitable figure; that is to say, the permissible output must be
held short of the productive capacity of such industry by a wider margin than before. On the other hand, it is
well known out of the experience of the past few decades that a larger coalition of invested capital, controlling
a larger proportion of the output, can more effectually limit the supply to a salutary maximum, such as will
afford reasonable profits. And with the new dispensation affording a freer scope for business enterprise on
conditions of greater security, larger coalitions than before are due to come into bearing. So that the means
will be at hand competently to meet this more urgent need of a stricter limitation of the output, in spite of any
increased productive capacity conferred on the industrial community by any conceivable advance in the
industrial arts. The outcome to be looked for should apparently be such an effectual recourse to capitalistic
sabotage as will neutralise any added advantage that might otherwise accrue to the community from its
continued improvements in technology.


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In spite of this singularly untoward conjuncture of circumstances to be looked for, there need be no serious
apprehension that capitalistic sabotage, with a view to maintaining prices and the rate of profits, will go all the
way, to the result indicated, at least not on the grounds so indicated alone. There is in the modern development
of technology, and confidently to be counted on, a continued flow of new contrivances and expedients
designed to supersede the old; and these are in fact successful, in greater or less measure, in finding their way
into profitable use, on such terms as to displace older appliances,[Pg 342] underbid them in the market, and
render them obsolete or subject to recapitalisation on a lowered earning-capacity. So far as this unremitting
flow of innovations has its effect, that is to say so far as it can not be hindered from having an effect, it acts to
lower the effectual cost of products to the consumer. This effect is but a partial and somewhat uncertain one,
but it is always to be counted in as a persistent factor, of uncertain magnitude, that will affect the results in the
long run.

As has just been spoken of above, large coalitions of invested wealth are more competent to maintain, or if
need be to advance, prices than smaller coalitions acting in severalty, or even when acting in collusion. This
state of the case has been well illustrated by the very successful conduct of such large business organisations
during the past few decades; successful, that is, in earning large returns on the investments engaged. Under the
new dispensation, as has already been remarked, coalitions should reasonably be expected to grow to a larger
size and achieve a greater efficiency for the same purpose.

The large gains of the large corporate coalitions are commonly ascribed by their promoters, and by
sympathetic theoreticians of the ancient line, to economies of production made practicable by a larger scale of
production; an explanation which is disingenuous only so far as it needs be. What is more visibly true on
looking into the workings of these coalitions in detail is that they are enabled to maintain prices at a
profitable, indeed at a strikingly profitable, level by such a control of the output as would be called sabotage if
it were put in practice by interested workmen with a view to maintain wages. The effects of this sagacious
sabotage become visible in the large earnings of these investments and the large gains[Pg 343] which, now
and again, accrue to their managers. Large fortunes commonly are of this derivation.

In cases where no recapitalisation has been effected for a considerable series of years the yearly earnings of
such businesslike coalitions have been known to approach fifty percent on the capitalised value. Commonly,
however, when earnings rise to a striking figure, the business will be recapitalised on the basis of its
earning-capacity, by issue of a stock dividend, by reincorporation in a new combination with an increased
capitalisation, and the like. Such augmentation of capital not unusually has been spoken of by theoretical
writers and publicists as an increase of the community's wealth, due to savings; an analysis of any given case
is likely to show that its increased capital value represents an increasingly profitable procedure for securing a
high price above cost, by stopping the available output short of the productive capacity of the industries
involved. Loosely speaking, and within the limits of what the traffic will bear, the gains in such a case are
proportioned to the deficiency by which the production or supply under control falls short of productive
capacity. So that the capitalisation in the case comes to bear a rough proportion to the material loss which this
organisation of sabotage is enabled to inflict on the community at large; and instead of its being a
capitalisation of serviceable means of production it may, now and again, come to little else than a
capitalisation of chartered sabotage.

Under the new dispensation of peace and security at large this manner of capitalisation and business enterprise
might reasonably be expected to gain something in scope and security of operation. Indeed, there are few
things within the range of human interest on which an opinion[Pg 344] may more confidently be formed
beforehand. If the rights of property, in their extent and amplitude, are maintained intact as they are before the
law today, the hold which business enterprise on the large scale now has on the affairs and fortunes of the
community at large is bound to grow firmer and to be used more unreservedly for private advantage under the
new conditions contemplated.


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The logical result should be an accelerated rate of accumulation of the country's wealth in the hands of a
relatively very small class of wealthy owners, with a relatively inconsiderable semi-dependent middle class of
the well-to-do, and with the mass of the population even more nearly destitute than they are today. At the
same time it is scarcely to be avoided that this wholly dependent and impecunious mass of the population
must be given an appreciably better education than they have today. The argument will return to the
difficulties that are liable to arise out of this conjuncture of facts, in the way of discontent and possible

Meantime, looking to the promise of the pacific future in the light of the pacific past, certain further
consequences, particularly consequences of the economic order, that may reasonably be expected to follow
will also merit attention. The experience of the Victorian peace is almost as pointed in its suggestion on this
head as if it had been an experiment made ad hoc; but with the reservation that the scale of economic life,
after all, was small in the Victorian era, and its pace was slack, compared with what the twentieth century
should have to offer under suitable conditions of peace and pecuniary security. In the light of this most
instructive modern instance,[Pg 345] there should appear to be in prospect a growth of well-bred families
resting on invested wealth and so living on unearned incomes; larger incomes and consequently a more
imposingly well-bred body of gentlefolk, sustained and vouched for by a more munificent expenditure on
superfluities, than the modern world has witnessed hitherto. Doubtless the resulting growth of gentlemen and
gentlewomen would be as perfect after their kind as these unexampled opportunities of gentle breeding might
be expected to engender; so that even their British precursors on the trail of respectability would fall
somewhat into insignificance by comparison, whether in respect of gentlemanly qualities or in point of cost
per unit.

The moral, and even more particularly the aesthetic, value of such a line of gentlefolk, and of the culture
which they may be expected to place on view,—this cultural side of the case, of course, is what one
would prefer to dwell on, and on the spiritual gains that might be expected to accrue to humanity at large from
the steady contemplation of this meritorious respectability so displayed at such a cost.

But the prosaic necessity of the argument turns back to the economic and civil bearing of this prospective
development, this virtual bifurcation of the pacified nation into a small number of gentlemen who own the
community's wealth and consume its net product in the pursuit of gentility, on the one hand, and an unblest
mass of the populace who do the community's work on a meager livelihood tapering down toward the
subsistence minimum, on the other hand. Evidently, this prospective posture of affairs may seem "fraught
with danger to the common weal," as a public spirited citizen might phrase it. Or, as it would be expressed in
less eloquent words, it[Pg 346] appears to comprise elements that should make for a change. At the same time
it should be recalled, and the statement will command assent on slight reflection, that there is no avoiding
substantially such a posture of affairs under the promised régime of peace and security, provided only that the
price-system stands over intact, and the current rights of property continue to be held inviolate. If the known
principles of competitive gain and competitive spending should need enforcement to that effect by an
illustrative instance, the familiar history of the Victorian peace is sufficient to quiet all doubts.

Of course, the resulting articulation of classes in the community will not be expected to fall into such simple
lines of sheer contrast as this scheme would indicate. The class of gentlefolk, the legally constituted wasters,
as they would be rated from the economic point of view, can not be expected personally to take care of so
large a consumption of superfluities as this posture of affairs requires at their hands. They would, as the
Victorian peace teaches, necessarily have the assistance of a trained corps of experts in unproductive
consumption, the first and most immediate of whom would be those whom the genial phrasing of Adam
Smith designates "menial servants." Beyond these would come the purveyors of superfluities, properly
speaking, and the large, indeed redundant, class of tradespeople of high and low degree,—dependent in
fact but with an illusion of semi-dependence; and farther out again the legal and other professional classes of
the order of stewards, whose duty it will be to administer the sources of income and receive, apportion and


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disburse the revenues so devoted to a traceless extinguishment.[Pg 347]

There would, in other words, be something of a "substantial middle class," dependent on the wealthy and on
their expenditure of wealth, but presumably imbued with the Victorian middle-class illusion that they are of
some account in their own right. Under the due legal forms and sanctions this, somewhat voluminous,
middle-class population would engage in the traffic which is their perquisite, and would continue to believe,
in some passable fashion, that they touch the substance of things at something nearer than the second remove.
They would in great part appear to be people of "independent means," and more particularly would they
continue in the hope of so appearing and of some time making good the appearance. Hence their fancied, and
therefore their sentimental, interest would fall out on the side of the established law and order; and they would
accordingly be an element of stability in the commonwealth, and would throw in their weight, and their voice,
to safeguard that private property and that fabric of prices and credit through which the "income stream" flows
to the owners of preponderant invested wealth.

Judged on the state of the situation as it runs in our time, and allowing for the heightened efficiency of
large-scale investment and consolidated management under the prospective conditions of added pecuniary
security, it is to be expected that the middle-class population with "independent means" should come in for a
somewhat meager livelihood, provided that they work faithfully at their business of managing pecuniary
traffic to the advantage of their pecuniary betters,—meager, that is to say, when allowance is made for
the conventionally large expenditure on reputable appearances which is necessarily to be included in their
standard of living. It lies in the nature[Pg 348] of this system of large-scale investment and enterprise that the
(pecuniarily) minor agencies engaged on a footing of ostensible independence will come in for only such a
share in the aggregate gains of the community as it is expedient for the greater business interests to allow
them as an incentive to go on with their work as purveyors of traffic to these greater business interests.

The current, and still more this prospective, case of the quasi-self-directing middle class may fairly be
illustrated by the case of the American farmers, of the past and present. The American farmer rejoices to be
called "The Independent Farmer." He once was independent, in a meager and toil-worn fashion, in the days
before the price-system had brought him and all his works into the compass of the market; but that was some
time ago. He now works for the market, ordinarily at something like what is called a "living wage," provided
he has "independent means" enough to enable him by steady application to earn a living wage; and of course,
the market being controlled by the paramount investment interests in the background, his work, in effect,
inures to their benefit; except so much as it may seem necessary to allow him as incentive to go on. Also of
course, these paramount investment interests are in turn controlled in all their manoeuvres by the impersonal
exigencies of the price-system, which permits no vagaries in violation of the rule that all traffic must show a
balance of profit in terms of price.

The Independent Farmer still continues to believe that in some occult sense he still is independent in what he
will do and what not; or perhaps rather that he can by shrewd management retain or regain a tolerable measure
of such independence, after the fashion of what is held to have[Pg 349] been the posture of affairs in the days
before the coming of corporation finance; or at least he believes that he ought to have, or to regain or reclaim,
some appreciable measure of such independence; which ought then, by help of the "independent means"
which he still treasures, to procure him an honest and assured livelihood in return for an honest year's work.
Latterly he, that is the common run of the farmers, has been taking note of the fact that he is, as he apprehends
it, at a disadvantage in the market; and he is now taking recourse to concerted action for the purpose of what
might be called "rigging the market" to his own advantage. In this he overlooks the impregnable position
which the party of the second part, the great investment interests, occupy; in fact, he is counting without his
host. Hitherto he has not been convinced of his own helplessness. And with a fine fancy he still imagines that
his own interest is on the side of the propertied and privileged classes; so that the farmer constituency is the
chief pillar of conservative law and order, particularly in all that touches the inviolable rights of property and
at every juncture where a division comes on between those who live by investment and those who live by


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work. In pecuniary effect, the ordinary American farmer, who legally owns a moderate farm of the common
sort, belongs among those who work for a livelihood; such a livelihood as the investment interests find it
worth while to allow him under the rule of what the traffic will bear; but in point of sentiment and class
consciousness he clings to a belated stand on the side of those who draw a profit from his work.

So it is also with the menial servants and the middle-class people of "independent means," who are, however,
in a position to see more clearly their dependence on the[Pg 350] owners of predominant wealth. And such,
with a further accentuation of the anomaly, may reasonably be expected to be the further run of these relations
under the promised régime of peace and security. The class of well-kept gentlefolk will scarcely be called on
to stand alone, in case of a division between those who live by investment and those who live by work;
inasmuch as, for the calculable future, it should seem a reasonable expectation that this very considerable
fringe of dependents and pseudo-independents will abide by their time-tried principles of right and honest
living, through good days and evil, and cast in their lot unreservedly with that reputable body to whom the
control of trade and industry by investment assigns the usufruct of the community's productive powers.

Something has already been said of the prospective breeding of pedigreed gentlefolk under the projected
régime of peace. Pedigree, for the purpose in hand, is a pecuniary attribute and is, of course, a product of
funded wealth, more or less ancient. Virtually ancient pedigree can be procured by well-advised expenditure
on the conspicuous amenities; that is to say pedigree effectually competent as a background of current
gentility. Gentlefolk of such syncopated pedigree may have to walk circumspectly, of course; but their being
in this manner put on their good behavior should tend to heighten their effectual serviceability as gentlefolk,
by inducing a single-mindedness of gentility beyond what can fairly be expected of those who are already
secure in their tenure.

Except conventionally, there is no hereditary difference between the standard gentlefolk and, say, their
"menial servants," or the general population of the farms[Pg 351] and the industrial towns. This is a
well-established commonplace among ethnological students; which has, of course, nothing to say with respect
to the conventionally distinct lines of descent of the "Best Families." These Best Families are nowise
distinguishable from the common run in point of hereditary traits; the difference that makes the gentleman and
the gentlewoman being wholly a matter of habituation during the individual's life-time. It is something of a
distasteful necessity to call attention to this total absence of native difference between the well-born and the
common, but it is a necessity of the argument in hand, and the recalling of it may, therefore, be overlooked for
once in a way. There is no harm and no annoyance intended. The point of it all is that, on the premises which
this state of the case affords, the body of gentlefolk created by such an accumulation of invested wealth will
have no less of an effectual cultural value than they would have had if their virtually ancient pedigree had
been actual.

At this point, again, the experience of the Victorian peace and the functioning of its gentlefolk come in to
indicate what may fairly be hoped for in this way under this prospective régime of peace at large. But with the
difference that the scale of things is to be larger, the pace swifter, and the volume and dispersion of this
prospective leisure class somewhat wider. The work of this leisure class—and there is neither paradox
nor inconsistency in the phrase—should be patterned on the lines worked out by their prototypes of the
Victorian time, but with some appreciable accentuation in the direction of what chiefly characterised the
leisure class of that era of tranquility. The characteristic feature to which attention naturally turns at this
suggestion is the tranquility[Pg 352] that has marked that body of gentlefolk and their code of clean and
honest living. Another word than "tranquility" might be hit upon to designate this characteristic animus, but
any other word that should at all adequately serve the turn would carry a less felicitous suggestion of those
upper-class virtues that have constituted the substantial worth of the Victorian gentleman. The conscious
worth of these gentlefolk has been a beautifully complete achievement. It has been an achievement of "faith
without works," of course; but, needless to say, that is as it should be, also of course. The place of gentlefolk
in the economy of Nature is tracelessly to consume the community's net product, and in doing so to set a


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standard of decent expenditure for the others emulatively to work up to as near as may be. It is scarcely
conceivable that this could have been done in a more unobtrusively efficient manner, or with a more austerely
virtuous conviction of well-doing, than by the gentlefolk bred of the Victorian peace. So also, in turn, it is not
to be believed that the prospective breed of gentlefolk derivable from the net product of the pacific nations
under the promised régime of peace at large will prove in any degree less effective for the like ends. More will
be required of them in the way of a traceless consumption of superfluities and an unexampled expensive
standard of living. But this situation that so faces them may be construed as a larger opportunity, quite as well
as a more difficult task.

A theoretical exposition of the place and cultural value of a leisure class in modern life would scarcely be in
place here; and it has also been set out in some detail elsewhere.[10] For the purpose in hand it may be
sufficient to[Pg 353] recall that the canons of taste and the standards of valuation worked out and inculcated
by leisure-class life have in all ages run, with unbroken consistency, to pecuniary waste and personal futility.
In its economic bearing, and particularly in its immediate bearing on the material well-being of the
community at large, the leadership of the leisure class can scarcely be called by a less derogatory epithet than
"untoward." But that is not the whole of the case, and the other side should be heard. The leisure-class life of
tranquility, running detached as it does above the turmoil out of which the material of their sustenance is
derived, enables a growth of all those virtues that mark, or make, the gentleman; and that affect the life of the
underlying community throughout, pervasively, by imitation; leading to a standardisation of the everyday
proprieties on a presumably, higher level of urbanity and integrity than might be expected to result in the
absence of this prescriptive model.

Integer vitae scelerisque purus, the gentleman of assured station turns a placid countenance to all those petty
vexations of breadwinning that touch him not. Serenely and with an impassive fortitude he faces those
common vicissitudes of life that are impotent to make or mar his material fortunes and that can neither impair
his creature comforts nor put a slur on his good repute. So that without afterthought he deals fairly in all
everyday conjunctures of give and take; for they are at the most inconsequential episodes to him, although the
like might spell irremediable disaster to his impecunious counterfoil among the common men who have the
community's work to do. In short, he is a gentleman, in the best acceptation of the word,—unavoidably,
by force of circumstance. As such his example is of invaluable consequence to the[Pg 354] underlying
community of common folk, in that it keeps before their eyes an object lesson in habitual fortitude and visible
integrity such as could scarcely have been created except under such shelter from those disturbances that
would go to mar habitual fortitude and integrity. There can be little doubt but the high example of the
Victorian gentlefolk has had much to do with stabilising the animus of the British common man on lines of
integrity and fair play. What else and more in the way of habitual preconceptions he may, by competitive
imitation, owe to the same high source is not immediately in question here.

Recalling once more that the canon of life whereby folk are gentlefolk sums itself up in the requirements of
pecuniary waste and personal futility, and that these requirements are indefinitely extensible, at the same time
that the management of the community's industry by investment for a profit enables the owners of invested
wealth to divert to their own use the community's net product, wherewith to meet these requirements, it
follows that the community at large which provides this output of product will be allowed so much as is
required by their necessary standard of living,—with an unstable margin of error in the adjustment.
This margin of error should tend continually to grow narrower as the businesslike management of industry
grows more efficient with experience; but it will also continually be disturbed in the contrary sense by
innovations of a technological nature that require continual readjustment. This margin is probably not to be
got rid of, though it may be expected to become less considerable under more settled conditions.[Pg 355]

It should also not be overlooked that the standard of living here spoken of as necessarily to be allowed the
working population by no means coincides with the "physical subsistence minimum," from which in fact it
always departs by something appreciable. The necessary standard of living of the working community is in


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fact made up of two distinguishable factors: the subsistence minimum, and the requirements of decorously
wasteful consumption—the "decencies of life." These decencies are no less requisite than the physical
necessaries, in point of workday urgency, and their amount is a matter of use and wont. This composite
standard of living is a practical minimum, below which consumption will not fall, except by a fluctuating
margin of error; the effect being the same, in point of necessary consumption, as if it were all of the nature of
a physical subsistence minimum.

Loosely speaking, the arrangement should leave nothing appreciable over, after the requirements of genteel
waste and of the workday standard of consumption have been met. From which in turn it should follow that
the rest of what is comprised under the general caption of "culture" will find a place only in the interstices of
leisure-class expenditure and only at the hands of aberrant members of the class of the gently-bred. The
working population should have no effectual margin of time, energy or means for other pursuits than the day's
work in the service of the price-system; so that aberrant individuals in this class, who might by native
propensity incline, e.g., to pursue the sciences or the fine arts, should have (virtually) no chance to make good.
It would be a virtual suppression of such native gifts among the common folk, not a definitive and
all-inclusive suppression. The state of[Pg 356] the case under the Victorian peace may, again, be taken in
illustration of the point; although under the presumably more effectual control to be looked for in the pacific
future the margin might reasonably be expected to run somewhat narrower, so that this virtual suppression of
cultural talent among the common men should come nearer a complete suppression.

The working of that free initiative that makes the advance of civilisation, and also the greater part of its
conservation, would in effect be allowed only in the erratic members of the kept classes; where at the same
time it would have to work against the side-draught of conventional usage, which discountenances any pursuit
that is not visibly futile according to some accepted manner of futility. Now under the prospective perfect
working of the price-system, bearers of the banners of civilisation could effectually be drawn only from the
kept classes, the gentlefolk who alone would have the disposal of such free income as is required for work that
has no pecuniary value. And numerically the gentlefolk are an inconsiderable fraction of the population. The
supply of competently gifted bearers of the community's culture would accordingly be limited to such as
could be drawn by self-selection from among this inconsiderable proportion of the community at large.

It may be recalled that in point of heredity, and therefore in point of native fitness for the maintenance and
advance of civilisation, there is no difference between the gentlefolk and the populace at large; or at least
there is no difference of such a nature as to count in abatement of the proposition set down above. Some
slight, but after all inconsequential, difference there may be, but such difference as there is, if any, rather
counts against the[Pg 357] gentlefolk as keepers of the cultural advance. The gentlefolk are derived from
business; the gentleman represents a filial generation of the businessman; and if the class typically is gifted
with any peculiar hereditary traits, therefore, they should presumably be such as typically mark the successful
businessman—astute, prehensile, unscrupulous. For a generation or two, perhaps to the scriptural third
and fourth generation, it is possible that a diluted rapacity and cunning may continue to mark the
businessman's well-born descendants; but these are not serviceable traits for the conservation and
advancement of the community's cultural heritage. So that no consideration of special hereditary fitness in the
well-born need be entertained in this connection.

As to the limitation imposed by the price-system on the supply of candidates suited by native gift for the
human work of civilisation; it would no doubt, be putting the figure extravagantly high to say that the
gentlefolk, properly speaking, comprise as much as ten percent of the total population; perhaps something less
than one-half of that percentage would still seem a gross overstatement. But, to cover loose ends and vagrant
cases, the gentlefolk may for the purpose be credited with so high a percentage of the total population. If ten
percent be allowed, as an outside figure, it follows that the community's scientists, artists, scholars, and the
like individuals given over to the workday pursuits of the human spirit, are by conventional restriction to be
drawn from one-tenth of the current supply of persons suited by native gift for these pursuits. Or as it may


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also be expressed, in so far as the projected scheme takes effect it should result in the suppression of nine (or
more) out of every ten persons available for the constructive work of civilisa[Pg 358]tion. The cultural
consequences to be looked for, therefore, should be quite markedly of the conservative order.

Of course, in actual effect, the retardation or repression of civilisation by this means, as calculated on these
premises, should reasonably be expected to count up to something appreciably more than nine-tenths of the
gains that might presumably be achieved in the conceivable absence of the price-system and the régime of
investment. All work of this kind has much of the character of teamwork; so that the efforts of isolated
individuals count for little, and a few working in more or less of concert and understanding will count for
proportionally much less than many working in concert. The endeavours of the individuals engaged count
cumulatively, to such effect that doubling their forces will more than double the aggregate efficiency; and
conversely, reducing the number will reduce the effectiveness of their work by something more than the
simple numerical proportion. Indeed, an undue reduction of numbers in such a case may lead to the total
defeat of the few that are left, and the best endeavours of a dwindling remnant may be wholly nugatory. There
is needed a sense of community and solidarity, without which the assurance necessary to the work is bound to
falter and dwindle out; and there is also needed a degree of popular countenance, not to be had by isolated
individuals engaged in an unconventional pursuit of things that are neither to be classed as spendthrift
decorum nor as merchantable goods. In this connection an isolated one does not count for one, and more than
the critical minimum will count for several per capita. It is a case where the "minimal dose" is wholly

There is not a little reason to believe that consequent upon the installation of the projected régime of peace[Pg
359] at large and secure investment the critical point in the repression of talent will very shortly be reached
and passed, so that the principle of the "minimal dose" will come to apply. The point may readily be
illustrated by the case of many British and American towns and neighbourhoods during the past few decades;
where the dominant price-system and its commercial standards of truth and beauty have over-ruled all
inclination to cultural sanity and put it definitively in abeyance. The cultural, or perhaps the conventional,
residue left over in these cases where civilisation has gone stale through inefficiency of the minimal dose is
not properly to be found fault with; it is of a blameless character, conventionally; nor is there any intention
here to cast aspersion on the desolate. The like effects of the like causes are to be seen in the American
colleges and universities, where business principles have supplanted the pursuit of learning, and where the
commercialisation of aims, ideals, tastes, occupations and personnel is following much the same lines that
have led so many of the country towns effectually outside the cultural pale. The American university or
college is coming to be an outlier of the price-system, in point of aims, standards and personnel; hitherto the
tradition of learning as a trait of civilisation, as distinct from business, has not been fully displaced, although it
is now coming to face the passage of the minimal dose. The like, in a degree, is apparently true latterly for
many English, and still more evidently for many German schools.

In these various instances of what may be called dry-rot or local blight on the civilised world's culture the
decline appears to be due not to a positive infection of a malignant sort, so much as to a failure of the active
cultural ferment, which has fallen below the critical point[Pg 360] of efficacy; perhaps through an unintended
refusal of a livelihood to persons given over to cultivating the elements of civilisation; perhaps through the
conventional disallowance of the pursuit of any other ends than competitive gain and competitive spending.
Evidently it is something much more comprehensive in this nature that is reasonably to be looked for under
the prospective régime of peace, in case the price-system gains that farther impetus and warrant which it
should come in for if the rights of ownership and investment stand over intact, and so come to enjoy the
benefit of a further improved state of the industrial arts and a further enlarged scale of operation and enhanced
rate of turnover.

To turn back to the point from which this excursion branched off. It has been presumed all the while that the
technological equipment, or the state of the industrial arts, must continue to advance under the conditions


The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
offered by this régime of peace at large. But the last few paragraphs will doubtless suggest that such a
single-minded addiction to competitive gain and competitive spending as the stabilised and amplified
price-system would enjoin, must lead to an effectual retardation, perhaps to a decline, of those material
sciences on which modern technology draws; and that the state of the industrial arts should therefore cease to
advance, if only the scheme of investment and businesslike sabotage can be made sufficiently secure. That
such may be the outcome is a contingency which the argument will have to meet and to allow for; but it is
after all a contingency that need not be expected to derange the sequence of events, except in the way of
retardation. Even without further advance in technological expedients or in the[Pg 361] relevant material
sciences, there will still necessarily ensue an effectual advance in the industrial arts, in the sense that further
organisation and enlargement of the material equipment and industrial processes on lines already securely
known and not to be forgotten must bring an effectually enhanced efficiency of the industrial process as a

In illustration, it is scarcely to be assumed even as a tentative hypothesis that the system of transport and
communication will not undergo extension and improvement on the lines already familiar, even in the absence
of new technological contrivances. At the same time a continued increase of population is to be counted on;
which has, for the purpose in hand, much the same effect as an advance in the industrial arts. Human contact
and mutual understanding will necessarily grow wider and closer, and will have its effect on the habits of
thought prevalent in the communities that are to live under the promised régime of peace. The system of
transport and communication having to handle a more voluminous and exacting traffic, in the service of a
larger and more compact population, will have to be organised and administered on mechanically drawn
schedules of time, place, volume, velocity, and price, of a still more exacting accuracy than hitherto. The like
will necessarily apply throughout the industrial occupations that employ extensive plant or processes, or that
articulate with industrial processes of that nature; which will necessarily comprise a larger proportion of the
industrial process at large than hitherto.

As has already been remarked more than once in the course of the argument, a population that lives and does
its work, and such play as is allowed it, in and by an exactingly articulate mechanical system of this kind
will[Pg 362] necessarily be an "intelligent" people, in the colloquial sense of the word; that is to say it will
necessarily be a people that uses printed matter freely and that has some familiarity with the elements of those
material sciences that underlie this mechanically organised system of appliances and processes. Such a
population lives by and within the framework of the mechanistic logic, and is in a fair way to lose faith in any
proposition that can not be stated convincingly in terms of this mechanistic logic. Superstitions are liable to
lapse by neglect or disuse in such a community; that is to say propositions of a non-mechanistic complexion
are liable to insensible disestablishment in such a case; "superstition" in these premises coming to signify
whatever is not of this mechanistic, or "materialistic" character. An exception to this broad characterisation of
non-mechanistic propositions as "superstition" would be matters that are of the nature of an immediate
deliverance of the senses or of the aesthetic sensibilities.

By a simile it might be said that what so falls under the caption of "superstition" in such a case is subject to
decay by inanition. It should not be difficult to conceive the general course of such a decay of superstitions
under this unremitting discipline of mechanistic habits of life. The recent past offers an illustration, in the
unemotional progress of decay that has overtaken religious beliefs in the more civilised countries, and more
particularly among the intellectually trained workmen of the mechanical industries. The elimination of such
non-mechanistic propositions of the faith has been visibly going on, but it has not worked out on any uniform
plan, nor has it overtaken any large or compact body of people consistently or abruptly, being of the nature of
obsolescence rather[Pg 363] than of set repudiation. But in a slack and unreflecting fashion the divestment has
gone on until the aggregate effect is unmistakable.

A similar divestment of superstitions is reasonably to be looked for also in that domain of preconceptions that
lies between the supernatural and the mechanistic. Chief among these time-warped preconceptions—or


The Project Gutenberg eBook of An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of its Perpetuation, by Thorstein Veblen.
superstitions—that so stand over out of the alien past among these democratic peoples is the institution
of property. As is true of preconceptions touching the supernatural verities, so here too the article of use and
wont in question will not bear formulation in mechanistic terms and is not congruous with that mechanistic
logic that is incontinently bending the habits of thought of the common man more and more consistently to its
own bent. There is, of course, the difference that while no class—apart from the servants of the
church—have a material interest in the continued integrity of the articles of the supernatural faith, there
is a strong and stubborn material interest bound up with the maintenance of this article of the pecuniary faith;
and the class in whom this material interest vests are also, in effect, invested with the coercive powers of the

The law, and the popular preconceptions that give the law its binding force, go to uphold the established usage
and the established prerogatives on this head; and the disestablishment of the rights of property and
investment therefore is not a simple matter of obsolescence through neglect. It may confidently be counted on
that all the apparatus of the law and all the coercive agencies of law and order, will be brought in requisition
to uphold the ancient rights of ownership, whenever any move is made toward their disallowance or
restriction. But then,[Pg 364] on the other hand, the movement to disallow or diminish the prerogatives of
ownership is also not to take the innocuous shape of unstudied neglect. So soon, or rather so far, as the
common man comes to realise that these rights of ownership and investment uniformly work to his material
detriment, at the same time that he has lost the "will to believe" in any argument that does not run in terms of
the mechanistic logic, it is reasonable to expect that he will take a stand on this matter; and it is more than
likely that the stand taken will be of an uncompromising kind,—presumably something in the nature of
the stand once taken by recalcitrant Englishmen in protest against the irresponsible rule of the Stuart
sovereign. It is also not likely that the beneficiaries under these proprietary rights will yield their ground at all
amicably; all the more since they are patently within their authentic rights in insisting on full discretion in the
disposal of their own possessions; very much as Charles I or James II once were within their prescriptive
right,—which had little to say in the outcome.

Even apart from "time immemorial" and the patent authenticity of the institution, there were and are many
cogent arguments to be alleged in favor of the position for which the Stuart sovereigns and their spokesmen
contended. So there are and will be many, perhaps more, cogent reasons to be alleged for the maintenance of
the established law and order in respect of the rights of ownership and investment. Not least urgent, nor least
real, among these arguments is the puzzling question of what to put in the place of these rights and of the
methods of control based on them, very much as the analogous question puzzled the public-spirited men of the
Stuart times. All of which goes to argue that there may[Pg 365] be expected to arise a conjuncture of
perplexities and complications, as well as a division of interests and claims. To which should be added that
the division is likely to come to a head so soon as the balance of forces between the two parties in interest
becomes doubtful, so that either party comes to surmise that the success of its own aims may depend on its
own efforts. And as happens where two antagonistic parties are each convinced of the justice of its cause, and
in the absence of an umpire, the logical recourse is the wager of battle.

Granting the premises, there should be no reasonable doubt as to this eventual cleavage between those who
own and those who do not; and of the premises the only item that is not already an accomplished fact is the
installation of peace at large. The rest of what goes into the argument is the well-known modern state of the
industrial arts, and the equally well-known price-system; which, in combination, give its character to the
modern state of business enterprise. It is only an unusually broad instance of an institutional arrangement
which has in the course of time and changing conditions come to work at cross purposes with that underlying
ground of institutional arrangements that takes form in the commonplace aphorism, Live and let live. With
change setting in the direction familiar to all men today, it is only a question of limited time when the
discrepancy will reach a critical pass, and the installation of peace may be counted on to hasten this course of


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That a decision will be sought by recourse to forcible measures, is also scarcely open to question; since the
established law and order provides for a resort to coercion in the enforcement of these prescriptive rights, and
since both parties in interest, in this as in other cases, are[Pg 366] persuaded of the justice of their claims. A
decision either way is an intolerable iniquity in the eyes of the losing side. History teaches that in such a
quarrel the recourse has always been to force.

History teaches also, but with an inflection of doubt, that the outworn institution in such a conjuncture faces
disestablishment. At least, so men like to believe. What the experience of history does not leave in doubt is
the grave damage, discomfort and shame incident to the displacement of such an institutional discrepancy by
such recourse to force. What further appears to be clear in the premises, at least to the point of a strong
presumption, is that in the present case the decision, or the choice, lies between two alternatives: either the
price-system and its attendant business enterprise will yield and pass out; or the pacific nations will conserve
their pecuniary scheme of law and order at the cost of returning to a war footing and letting their owners
preserve the rights of ownership by force of arms.

The reflection obviously suggests itself that this prospect of consequences to follow from the installation of
peace at large might well be taken into account beforehand by those who are aiming to work out an enduring
peace. It has appeared in the course of the argument that the preservation of the present pecuniary law and
order, with all its incidents of ownership and investment, is incompatible with an unwarlike state of peace and
security. This current scheme of investment, business, and sabotage, should have an appreciably better chance
of survival in the long run if the present conditions of warlike preparation and national insecurity were
maintained, or if the projected peace were left in a somewhat problematical state, sufficiently precarious to
keep national animosi[Pg 367]ties alert, and thereby to the neglect of domestic interests, particularly of such
interests as touch the popular well-being. On the other hand, it has also appeared that the cause of peace and
its perpetuation might be materially advanced if precautions were taken beforehand to put out of the way as
much as may be of those discrepancies of interest and sentiment between nations and between classes which
make for dissension and eventual hostilities.

So, if the projectors of this peace at large are in any degree inclined to seek concessive terms on which the
peace might hopefully be made enduring, it should evidently be part of their endeavours from the outset to put
events in train for the present abatement and eventual abrogation of the rights of ownership and of the
price-system in which these rights take effect. A hopeful beginning along this line would manifestly be the
neutralisation of all pecuniary rights of citizenship, as has been indicated in an earlier passage. On the other
hand, if peace is not desired at the cost of relinquishing the scheme of competitive gain and competitive
spending, the promoters of peace should logically observe due precaution and move only so far in the
direction of a peaceable settlement as would result in a sufficiently unstable equilibrium of mutual jealousies;
such as might expeditiously be upset whenever discontent with pecuniary affairs should come to threaten this
established scheme of pecuniary prerogatives.


[1] A modern nation constitutes a State only in respect of or with ulterior bearing on the question of
International peace or war.

[2] The partial and dubious exception of the Scandinavian countries or of Switzerland need raise no question
on this head.

[3] Cf., e.g., Eduard Meyer, England: its political organisation and development. ch. ii.

Footnotes 145
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[4] For a more extended discussion of this matter, cf. Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution, ch. i.
and Supplementary Notes i. and ii.

[5] Cf. Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution, as above.

[6] All this, which should be plain without demonstration, has been repeatedly shown in the expositions of
various peace advocates, typically by Mr. Angell.

[7] "To us the state is the most indispensable as well as the highest requisite to our earthly existence.... All
individualistic endeavor ... must be unreservedly subordinated to this lofty claim.... The state ... eventually is
of infinitely more value than the sum of all the individuals within its jurisdiction." "This conception of the
state, which is as much a part of our life as is the blood in our veins, is nowhere to be found in the English
Constitution, and is quite foreign to English thought, and to that of America as well."—Eduard Meyer,
England, its Political Organisation and Development and the War against Germany, translated by H.S.
White. Boston 1916. pp. 30-31.

[8] Denk 'mall

[9] For an extended discussion of this point, see Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution, especially
ch. v. and vi.

[10] Cf. The Theory of the Leisure Class, especially ch. v.-ix. and xiv.









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